Nearly $430,000 in Oral Treatment and Supplies for Elderly, Disabled Adults Made Possible by Wisconsin Dental Association Foundation’s Donated Dental Services
Volunteer dentists participating in the Wisconsin Dental Association Foundation’s Donated Dental Services (DDS) program helped administer $429,522 in charitable dental care to 111 disabled, elderly, low-income and uninsured adults around the state between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. During this period, dental laboratories in Wisconsin made an additional contribution of $21,934 in materials and services.
Qualifying patients for the program are those unable to afford treatment due to a restricted income linked to either a permanent disability, chronic illness or advanced age. DDS focuses on individuals who do not qualify for medical assistance programs and often have no other means to address their oral health needs.
DDS patients are selected based on financial need and a phone interview with a referral coordinator. Candidates then visit a volunteer dentist who assesses the individual’s needs and decides whether to accept the financial and clinical responsibilities of providing the necessary comprehensive dental care. Generally, a considerable amount of dental work is needed by the majority of patients receiving assistance from the program each year. This work can include bridges, crowns or dentures at an average treatment cost of nearly $3,870 per person.
“Since I first started volunteering in the DDS program, it’s been a privilege to bring smiles to these patients in need,” said Dr. Mark Crego, a general dentist in Milwaukee and DDS dentist for 22 years. “Providing treatment at my office allows the entire dental team to get involved in the process of giving back. My staff and I are constantly repaid in overwhelming gratitude from DDS patients.”
The DDS program is currently accepting applications in all Wisconsin counties. Download a Donated Dental Services application or complete it online at WDA.org. Residents of Calumet, Dodge, Door, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Jefferson, Kenosha, Kewaunee, Lafayette, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha and Winnebago counties interested in applying for DDS assistance may call 888-338-6852. Residents of all other Wisconsin counties should call 866-812-9840.
The State of Wisconsin provides limited monetary support for administrative and lab costs. Participating dentists generally contribute roughly $7 in treatment and materials per each dollar contributed to the program. Since inception of the DDS program in 1998, 890 volunteer dentists have provided more than $12.5 million in comprehensive dental care at no charge to 4,109 adults in need. Additionally 162 dental labs have donated more than $857,000 in supplies and services.
Visit the WDA Foundation donor page to learn how you can help provide tax-deductible financial support for statewide charitable dental care and oral hygiene education outreach efforts like the Donated Dental Services program.