Giving Hope to Those Who Served
Close to 40% of American adults do not have access to dental care, with low income individuals less likely to receive any treatment. Unfortunately, this percentage includes military veterans who have limited resources, which is where organizations like Dental Lifeline Network and the Smile Generation® step in to help. Smile Generation Serve Day is an annual day of service, and part of a nationwide campaign of giving that focuses on dental care to people in need, including Donated Dental Services (DDS) patients.
“I’ve helped many others and now I’m the one that’s in need,” said Russ, a U.S. Army veteran. “I was going to have my teeth pulled and have dentures. I was getting pretty desperate. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t function. I reached out to Dental Lifeline Network and found that they do pretty amazing work so I thought, why not me?”
The Smile Generation is partnering with Dental Lifeline Network, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides access to dental care and education for people like Russ, to provide donated dental services to patients in underserved communities. “Our mission is to help people with disabilities, or who are elderly, medically challenged or fragile, and can’t get care because they can’t afford it because of one of those conditions,” said Fred Leviton, President & CEO of Dental Lifeline Network.
Smile Generation Serve Day Makes all the Difference
This year, Smile Generation Serve Day took place on August 17. This nationwide day of service is at the core of The Smile Generation’s culture of service. Over 700 Smile Generation-trusted dental practices provided donated dentistry to underserved members of the community, including DDS patients like Russ. Smile Generation-trusted dentists will be offering patients comprehensive oral health care, including cleanings, x-rays, scaling and root planing, restorations, and extractions. Since its inception in 2011, more than 15,000 patients have received donated dental services during Smile Generation Serve Day, totaling $25 million in oral health care. The Smile Generation’s campaign also includes local service projects, such as cleaning up community parks and volunteering at local food banks.
Amanda Jozsa, D.D.S., a Smile Generation-trusted dentist who treated Russ, understands the value and impact in providing access to care to patients like Russ. “If you take the time to talk to someone and find out how you can help them, you can make a huge difference in their life,” said Dr. Jozsa. She went on to describe Russ’ treatment plan, which involved x-rays and conversations about his struggles and goals. “He needed to replace some teeth that were missing, get his gums healthy, and treat his gum disease. We then worked with Dental Lifeline Network to find a specialist to possibly consider jaw surgery and orthodontics to see what we can do to get the most functional bite for him.”
The morning of his appointment, Russ felt a little nervous but that changed when he walked into Edgewater Modern Dentistry & Orthodontics. “I was overwhelmed by how nice and beautiful the office was,” he said. Best of all, his visit with Dr. Jozsa yielded positive results. “Three hours later, I went home and I was able to eat. I went and had a steak. I could actually chew.”
Thanks to the partnership between Dental Lifeline Network and the Smile Generation, patients in need can receive the comprehensive oral care they need to take the first step toward healthier and happier smiles. To learn more about Smile Generation Serve Day, visit www.smilegeneration.com.