Gary, 70, and Sandy, 68, of Fort Dodge have been married for 20 years. Sadly, both suffer from serious health problems. Gary has survived eight heart attacks over the past few years in addition to having diabetes and kidney failure. Sandy has undergone double bypass heart surgery and has mitral valve prolapse, peripheral vascular disease, primary biliary cirrhosis, fibromyalgia, and arthritis.
In addition, neither Gary nor Sandy had been to a dentist in many years and both had developed oral health problems that were impacting their overall health. They had missing, decayed, and broken teeth and were in constant pain.
Though they were desperate for help, the couple could not afford the dental treatment they needed. Both are retired and survive on Social Security benefits and a small pension and struggle to make ends meet. Their dental problems were impacting their health, but paying for treatment was out of reach. It seemed as if they had nowhere to turn for help.
How DDS Helped
Fortunately, Gary and Sandy learned about the Donated Dental Services (DDS) program and they were each linked with a team of generous volunteers:
• Dr. Russell Heun donated a full upper denture and partial lower denture.
• Oral Surgeon Dr. Eric Pearson performed 14 extractions.
• Mid Iowa Dental Arts fabricated the dentures at no cost.
• Dr. Michael Moffitt restored 6 teeth, built up 3 teeth, donated 3 crowns and a 6-unit bridge.
• Oral Surgeon Dr. Eric Knox performed 8 extractions.
• Endodontist Dr. Lance Crawford performed 3 root canals.
• Dental Prosthetic Services, Inc fabricated the bridge at no cost.
“We are both feeling so much better. Everyone who helped was amazing, caring, and wonderful people. All of the dentists made us feel comfortable and welcomed and all the staff was amazing. We love our new smiles and can’t stop smiling.” —Sandy, DDS Patient
“Every dentist should experience the joy of appreciation DDS patients express for their doctors. It is just a pleasure to help.” —Dr. Michael Moffitt, DDS volunteer
Iowa Donated Dental Services (DDS) is a program of Dental Lifeline Network, a national humanitarian organization and affiliate of the ADA, providing access to comprehensive dental care for people with disabilities or who are elderly or medically fragile and have no other way to get help. Close to 1,700 patients in Iowa have received treatment from over 240 volunteers.
Learn more about volunteering or to learn about DDS in your state, visit our state pages.