WEST ALLIS, Wis. – Dentists volunteering through the Wisconsin Dental Association Foundation’s Donated Dental Services (DDS) program provided $437,918 in charitable dental care to 85 adults in the state who are disabled, low-income, elderly and uninsured between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. Dental laboratories in Wisconsin also played a significant role in these efforts by contributing an additional $15,639 in materials and services of their own.
The DDS program serves those who do not qualify for government assistance programs and cannot afford dental care – commonly patients with a restricted income due to a permanent disability, chronic illness or advanced age and have no other means of accessing the oral care they require. Patients are selected based on financial need and a phone interview with a referral coordinator. Candidates then visit a volunteer dentist who assesses their situation and decides whether to take on the financial and clinical responsibilities.
The majority of DDS patients require a substantial amount of dental work, including bridges, crowns or dentures at an average treatment cost of nearly $5,200 per person.
“I’m lucky to be in the position that I am in,” says WDA Past-President Dr. Paul Levine, a DDS volunteer and general dentist in Milwaukee. “I have always believed in helping out those that may need it. The DDS program allows dental offices to work with those that may not otherwise be able to access dental care of any type and helps restore their mouth to their optimal dental health. The people we have worked with are so grateful for what we do.”
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 nearly $13 million in comprehensive dental care at no charge to 4,194 adults in need. Additionally, 162 dental labs have donated almost $873,000 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 DDS program.