People Who Are Medically Fragile

Rona, a 72-year-old woman in Boca Raton, FL, was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011. She received intense chemotherapy treatments that resulted in a side effect called xerostomia, which halts saliva production and caused her teeth to fall out.

Unable to afford the treatment she desperately needed, and after being repeatedly turned down by many other agencies, Rona was referred to Donated Dental Services (DDS). A large and highly skilled team of DDS volunteers guided Rona through a year of treatment that changed her life.

Three DDS volunteers, Drs. Karen and Carlos Coello and Dr. Thomas Copulos shared responsibilities, extracting 25 teeth, placing eight implants and fitting Rona with full sets of immediate dentures and then implant dentures.

With the help of these amazing volunteers, Rona’s life was transformed. She is ecstatic with her new teeth and smile, and her cancer is in remission.

“Having my teeth fall out, along with nausea, baldness and the complete feeling of helplessness from the cancer left me utterly devastated. Then you came along. You put me in touch with the most marvelous dentists…Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me life once again.” –Rona, a Donated Dental Services (DDS) patient

Did you know?

Many seniors live with severely painful dental problems because they cannot afford care. Untreated dental disease causes systemic infection, which can lead to complications in medical conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, immune disorders and stroke. Risks are greater among the elderly. Medicare does not cover dental care and Medicaid covers little or no treatment for adults.

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