Donated Dental Services
Donated Dental Services (DDS) is a program that provides comprehensive dental care to eligible seniors and adults with disabilities.
What is the need?
In Virginia, Medicaid and Medicare provide little or no dental coverage for adults. As a result, some of our most vulnerable populations, senior citizens and adults with disabilities, are forced to live with the pain, embarrassment, and complications of poor oral health, if they cannot afford to visit a dentist. The inability to eat, talk, or smile properly can make matters worse for those already struggling with health and age-related complications. Studies have repeatedly shown that poor oral health can lead to many serious health concerns including heart disease, stroke, worsening of diabetes, infection, complications with pregnancy, even death.
Because of the extraordinary compassion of over 575 dentists and 145 dental laboratories in Virginia, DDS provides essential and comprehensive dental care for older adults and adults that are disabled or medically-compromised who cannot afford necessary treatment. Many DDS patients have slipped through the cracks of Medicaid and Medicare programs and have nowhere else to turn.
To qualify for DDS you must be either 62-years-old or older, or permanently disabled. Your household income must be less that 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and you must have comprehensive dental needs (more than just a cleaning and a filling).
How does it work?
Through the DDS program, volunteer general dentists, specialists, and dental laboratories provide comprehensive dental treatment free of charge to those who cannot afford treatment due to financial limitations associated with advanced age and physical and/or mental disabilities. Unlike other programs for special patient populations, DDS volunteer dentists see the patients in their own offices rather than through a central treatment center. This unique approach to accessing dental care makes the DDS program more convenient for volunteers and allows patients to have the same experience as the dentist’s other clients.
Why should I volunteer?
Participation could not be easier. Dentists and labs take care of the patients. DDS does everything else. No headaches, no red tape. A DDS care coordinator is the liaison between the patient, the labs and the dentists, answering any and all questions and assisting everyone throughout the process. The goal of DDS is to return patients to good oral health, enabling them to reach an affordable maintenance level. DDS is a great way for dentists to give back to their communities and help those in need.
"I really enjoy giving back to those less fortunate in our community by providing them with complimentary dental services. It is extremely rewarding to donate our skills to these appreciative patients and witness the dramatic improvement in their health and self-esteem."
-Dr. David L. Jones, Gardner & Jones Orthodontics