Jared, 37, lives with his grandmother in central Utah and is a huge Utah Jazz fan. At one time, he was also an avid basketball player but he is now suffering from a severe genetic disorder called Ankylosing Spondylitis – a type of arthritis that affects the spine. Jared has undergone several major surgeries including a 10-hour back surgery. Over the next few years, he is scheduled to undergo another back surgery and will eventually need total hip and knee replacements. Jared tries to keep his spirits up and gets out and about as much as possible.
In addition to his medical condition, Jared’s oral health was deteriorating. Many of his teeth were broken, making it difficult to chew his food and he found daily brushing very painful. Jared is unable to work because of his health and uses his Social Security Disability benefit to contribute to his grandmother’s household expenses. The family has limited resources and could not afford the dental treatment that Jared needed. It seemed they had nowhere to turn for help.
How DDS Helped
Jared was referred to Dental Lifeline Network (DLN) through the UT School of Dentistry and he was linked with a team of generous volunteers:
• Oral Surgeon Dr. Gary Crawford performed extractions.
• Prosthodontist Dr. Gordon J. Christensen donated and placed implant-retained upper and lower dentures.
“Today I ask you to join me in donating your time for an important cause: Dental Lifeline Network (DLN), a strategic partner of the American Dental Association. The goal is to help Utah’s most vulnerable residents get much-needed dental treatment. These are our friends and neighbors who are elderly or disabled or medically fragile, and can neither afford treatment nor obtain public aid. Will you see one?”
–Dr. Gordon Christensen, DLN Board of Directors and DDS Volunteer
Utah Donated Dental Services (DDS) is a program of Dental Lifeline Network, a strategic partner 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. Over 250 patients in Utah have received treatment from over 100 volunteers.
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