Due to a dreadful car accident, Miriam suffered a broken back and neck that caused three extensive surgeries and loss of income for her and her husband. Although she is under the care of a pain clinic, the pain medication destroyed her teeth. Thanks to Michigan dentist Dr. Matthew Gietzen, Miriam’s mouth is healthy again and her quality of life is improving.
When I joined Dental Lifeline Network six months ago as DentaCheques manager, I was surprised to learn that there are many thousands of people just like Miriam who desperately need dental care they cannot afford. They are people you may know who live on limited fixed incomes or have disabilities or are elderly. They might even need dental care to qualify for life-changing or life-saving treatments like chemotherapy, cardiac surgery, organ transplants and joint replacements. Did you know that Medicare doesn’t cover dental care and Medicaid, the public assistance program for low-income individuals, provides little or no dental care for adults?
Dental Lifeline Network is a national humanitarian organization that serves as a final safety net for people like Miriam who have nowhere else to turn. Our Donated Dental Services (DDS) program has over 15,000 volunteer dentists and 3,200 volunteer labs nationwide and has provided $200 million in care to 106,000 people in the last 25 years.
Patterson Dental is an amazing supporter of Dental Lifeline Network in many ways, including its involvement with DentaCheques, one of our largest sources of funding for patients in need. While volunteer dentists and labs donate their time and materials, funding is needed to support their work and provide patient screening, referrals and care coordination. That’s where DentaCheques helps. Patterson territory representatives sell DentaCheques books without compensation, because it is the right thing to do.
We, along with thousands of people across the country, are overwhelmingly grateful for Patterson’s support. To find out more, please visit www.DentalLifeline.org. Check back with Off the Cusp in January for more information about DentaCheques 2012.