The Donated Dental Services (DDS) program is a collaborative, direct way that the dental profession reaches out to individuals with special needs.
Because of the extraordinary compassion of over 15,000 dentists and 3,000 dental laboratories across the country, DDS tends to the essential and comprehensive dental care needs of our nation’s most vulnerable people; disabled, elderly or medically-compromised individuals who cannot afford necessary treatment nor get public aid. DDS patients have slipped through the cracks of Medicaid and Medicare programs with nowhere else to turn.
Participation could not be easier. Dentists and labs take care of the patients, DDS does everything else; no headaches, no red tape. A DDS Coordinator is the liaison between the patient, the labs and the dentists, answering any and all questions, assisting the patient, the lab and the dentist with anything and everything. The goal of DDS is to return patients to good oral health, enabling them to reach an affordable maintenance level.
The Dental HouseCalls program was established to bring care to people who cannot easily travel to dentists’ offices: residents of nursing homes, homebound individuals and developmentally disabled people attending day programs or living in residential centers. A fully equipped, portable dental office is transported in a van and set-up at bedside or in the facilities so dentists can serve these individuals. Without this service, most of these people would go without any kind of dental care—it is their only access to treatment. The program is staffed by a full-time Coordinator who drives the van, sets up and dismantles the equipment, helps the dentists at chair side, and schedules the system. With this support, dentists can provide a full range of dental therapies. Complicating access problems, most of the people served by Dental HouseCalls cannot work or they earn very little income and cannot afford needed treatment. Dentists from the community use the van system and because of the financial limitations of most patients, often donate or discount their services substantially.