Dental Lifeline Network is in the business of changing lives — however, we can’t achieve our mission of providing dental care and education to our country’s most vulnerable populations without the help of incredible volunteer dentists and labs.
Through our Donated Dental Services (DDS) program, those who can’t afford dental services receive the aid and attention that they need. The DDS program consists of a network of more than 15,000 volunteer dentists and 3,500 dental labs — we continue to grow in the hopes of touching more lives and better meeting the needs of disabled, elderly, and medically fragile Americans. Within these three areas of focus, there are countless volunteer opportunities for dentists looking to make a difference. Learn more about how DLN seeks to address the needs of each of these populations below, and find your place within our network of dental volunteers.
1. Serve people with disabilities
Many Americans with disabilities live on fixed disability social security incomes, making it difficult to afford even basic dental care, let alone advanced procedures. The effects of poor dental health range from malnutrition to severe infection and disease, all of which can drastically complicate the lives of those already coping with physical or mental disabilities. The DDS program aims to help more patients like Tim, a disabled Army veteran from West Virginia, whose emotional and physical wellness can be improved with the help of DLN’s amazing dental volunteers.
2. Volunteer opportunities for dentists with elderly patients
DLN also encourages volunteer opportunities for dentists who want to meet the needs of elderly patients. Even active older Americans with good physical strength may suffer from poor dental health, and for retirees operating on fixed social security incomes or small pensions, the necessary dental procedures are sometimes unattainable. Dental volunteers working with DLN can help elderly patients, like Martina from New Jersey, receive the care and the services they need even after they’ve retired from the workforce.
3. Provide care to medically fragile Americans
DLN’s last area of volunteer focus is the country’s medically fragile population, which includes those who already manage medical concerns beyond dental health. Obtaining treatment for severe medical conditions can be a significant challenge — people who are medically at-risk may find paying for dental care to be an extra burden on top of addressing pre-existing (and sometimes life-threatening) conditions. Medically fragile patients like Rona, a cancer survivor whose lost her teeth during chemotherapy, rely on DLN as a last resort.
DLN provides volunteer opportunities for dentists who want to help disabled, elderly, and medically fragile Americans see the dental care that they deserve. If you’re interested in volunteering with DLN, check out what our volunteers say and learn more about how to donate your services and your time. Our work only begins to meet the need — don’t wait, and volunteer today!