Programs

 


Mission of Mercy

The 2023 Mission of Mercy was held on Friday, June 16 and Saturday, June 17.

The WDA and the WDA Foundation sincerely thank the sponsors and volunteers who made this clinic possible.

For more information on the 10th Mission of Mercy, click here

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Donated Dental Services

Applications are currently being accepted.  Please note that our application waitlist is currently, at a minimum, a year out for DDS application review.  We ask for your patience and understanding as we are committed to giving each applicant the review and consideration necessary for acceptance of care. 

Download application

Please refrain from contacting our program Coordinator to inquiry about your place in the waitlist.  She is working on the current applications and cannot give you that information. 

Individuals with dental coverage under Medicaid, Badgercare, Badgercare Plus, or Forward Health insurance are not eligible for services under the Donated Dental Services Program. 

If you are experiencing a dental problem, please seek care from your dentist, or a nearby dental clinic.  You can also reference the resource list for low cost dental clinics linked here:

 https://www.wda.org/for-the-public/low-cost-dental-clinics

If your dental pain is severe and accompanied by a fever or swelling, go to your primary care physician, an urgent care clinic or the hospital emergency room immediately!

 

Overview

The mission of the WDA Foundation’s Donated Dental Services (DDS) program is to help bring needed dental care to Wisconsin residents who are unable to afford treatment because of a limited income that is clearly linked to a permanent disability or advanced age (65 and older).

This program is by application only. Eligibility is determined based on a completed written application and phone interview by the DDS referral coordinator. Donated Dental Services is unable to provide emergency oral treatment. If you are in pain, please call your dentist or nearest dental clinic.

During the interview process, the applicant will be asked questions pertaining to income, expenses and other pertinent factors to determine financial need as well as services required.

Receipt of a written application by the DDS program does NOT guarantee treatment. The DDS program receives a substantial number of applications each year and as a charitable program, the availability of volunteer dentists and funding are limited.

When a patient is accepted into the program, he/she is put on a waiting list until a participating volunteer dentist becomes available. The number of individuals on the waiting list varies by county.

Volunteer dentists decide for themselves to formally accept an individual based on a face-to-face meeting to assess dental needs. The referral coordinator is available to help the volunteers with such matters as a referral to a specialist and securing donated laboratory services if needed.*

Since 1998, some 890 volunteer dentists have provided nearly $13 million in comprehensive dental care at no charge to more than 4,100 adults in need. Additionally, 162 dental labs have donated almost $873,000 in supplies and services.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services provides limited financial support for administrative and lab costs, while participating dentists donate more than $8 in clinical expertise, treatment and materials for every $1 in funding received from the state. Private donations to the WDA Foundation, directed to support Donated Dental Services, also are gratefully accepted.

*The DDS program does not provide lifetime dental care. The dentists do not donate routine cleanings or examinations after the initial treatment plan is complete. Decisions of the DDS program are final.

 

Patient openings

The WDA Foundation’s Donated Dental Services (DDS) program is currently accepting patient applications. Download application!

Become a DDS volunteer!

If you are a dentist who would like to volunteer care through the DDS program, contact Mary Beth Berres at mberres@wda.org or 888-338-6852 with questions.

Contact

Contact Mary Beth Berres at mberres@wda.org or 888-338-6852 with questions.

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Grants

Annual Grant Program

The WDA Foundation awards thousands of dollars annually to non-profit programs and projects that improve oral health for low-income Wisconsin residents. The Annual Grant Program approves funding in December for the following calendar year. Nonprofit organizations engaged in efforts to improve oral health for state residents are invited to apply.

The Annual Grant Program is available only to qualifying charitable organizations. It is not available to individuals. Organizations are not eligible for both an Annual Grant and a Smile Program Grant during the same calendar year.

The 2024 grant application period is closed.

Organizations that received grants during the 2023 funding cycle will find the required Mid-Year Report form here. 2024 Applications will not be accepted until a Mid-Year Report is submitted.

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Smile Grant Program

Overview

The mission of the WDA Foundation Smile Program is to provide underprivileged children, adults and seniors with the supplies needed to put them on the right track for good oral health. The foundation will provide qualifying non-profit organizations with toothbrushes and toothpaste to be distributed to at-risk populations.

The program is by application only.

Eligibility criteria

  • The request must be made by a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
  • Supplies must be used within the state of Wisconsin for charitable purposes only.
  • No more than 288 toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste will be awarded to a single organization during a calendar year. Supplies will only be distributed in lots of 72 (72, 144, 216 or 288).
  • Supplies will be awarded to an organization no more than once during a period of 12 consecutive months.
  • Organizations are not eligible for both an Annual Grant and a Smile Program Grant during the same calendar year.

Application guidelines

  • Requests must be made via email (mspiegelhoff@wda.org) with the subject line “Smile Program Request”.
  • Requests should be made 3 to 4 weeks in advance of need to allow for potential delays.
  • An official request form and IRS Letter of Determination must be submitted for consideration.
  • No consideration will be given to incomplete applications.

Download application (PDF)

Program timetable and restrictions

  • The WDA Foundation will approve Smile Program grants on a rolling basis and will close the program for the calendar year when supplies are exhausted.
  • Submission of a grant request does not guarantee an award of supplies. All applicants will receive a reply approving or declining award.
  • The WDA Foundation is not responsible for misdirected requests.
  • The WDA Foundation reserves the right to limit quantities distributed.
  • Decisions of the WDA Foundation are final.
  • The WDA Foundation is not responsible for delayed shipments.

Follow-up report

The WDA Foundation requires a follow-up report of no more than three paragraphs indicating how the supply grant was used and what groups and how many people were assisted by the grant. The follow-up report is required within 30 days of use of supplies and may be submitted via email mspiegelhoff@wda.org). Failure to submit a follow-up report will prohibit the organization from receiving such grants in the future.

We strongly encourage grant recipients to submit photos from the event/program with their follow-up report. The submitting organization must have a copy of a signed photo consent form on record.

Contact


If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the foundation at:

WDA Foundation
Mark Spiegelhoff, Executive Director
6737 W. Washington St., Ste. 2360
West Allis, WI 53214
800-364-7646
414-755-4198 (direct)
mspiegelhoff@wda.org

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Support for Dentists

Charitable Assistance Fund

The Charitable Assistance Fund is used to provide the following grants to dentists who need help: facing financial difficulty due to misfortune, natural disaster, chemical dependence, physical disability, advanced age or other hindering conditions. his program is available solely to assist dentists and is not available to the general public.


For complete rules, guidelines and limitations, please contact WDA Foundation at mspiegelhoff@wda.org.

Submission of a Charitable Assistance Fund grant application does not guarantee approval. All decision of the WDA Foundation are final.

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Wellness for Dentists


This is a stressful time for everyone. The Wisconsin Dental Association Foundation has complied a listing of mental and physical wellness resources wellness resources for dentists and staff.

If you are a dentist and need financial help to start treatment, the Foundation's Charitable Assistance Fund may be able to help. See above for more information.

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  • Relief Grants: Dentists, their dependents and former dependents of deceased members of the dental profession are eligible to apply for financial aid through a Relief Grant if – because of misfortune, age or other disabling conditions – they are not wholly self-sustaining. These continuing grants are paid out monthly to approved applicants. Grant terms are limited to one-year with a maximum of 3 terms.
  • Emergency Grants: Emergency grants provide a small measure of immediate financial assistance to eligible beneficiaries who are victims of a serious situation or occurrence. Disasters can be both natural and caused by human conduct. Examples include, but are not limited to: sudden illness with no medical insurance, sudden death with no financial resources remaining for the spouse, civil disorders (excluding acts of war), explosions, fires and tornadoes. Confirmed pandemics are excluded. This is a one-time grant payment.
  • Dentist Well-Being Grants: Well-Being Grants provide financial assistance to dentists who are in need of prompt financial aid to begin treatment for addiction, depression or other similar challenges. This funding is available to pay initial consultation expenses if insurance is not available. This is a one-time grant payment that is sent directly to the treatment provider.  It is not released to the impacted dentist or the dentist’s family.