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Celebrating America’s Heroes on July 4th

by adminjay

U.S. Army Veteran Anthony and DLN volunteer Dr. Bassas

Among the patients Dental Lifeline Network (DLN) serves every year are many veterans with severe oral health problems. Through our generous volunteers, we provide extensive care to address the pain and discomfort that some patients have suffered with for years. Our annual Lifeline Heroes Challenge campaign rallies support that helps us manage this care to veterans in need.

One veteran who reached out for care is 66-year-old Anthony, who lives in St. Joseph, MN. Anthony has suffered with PTSD as well as joint pain throughout his body. His poor dental condition was an added challenge. In 2009, he received a once-in-a-lifetime grant from the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs for upper and lower dentures. As his dentures aged well beyond their useful lifespan, Anthony had to use super glue to hold them together! He had only four natural teeth remaining and those were decayed and loose, making eating difficult and painful.

Depending solely on his military pension for his basic monthly expenses, without dental insurance and no longer qualified for oral health care through the VA, Anthony felt his dental problems were unsolvable.

Thankfully, DLN matched him with a generous volunteer dentist who extracted five teeth and partnered with a volunteer lab to donate full upper and lower dentures. Due to the complexity of Anthony’s bite, extra measures were required to complete his care, including the smoothing of his jawbone and two implants donated by Straumann USA.

Thanks to this amazing team of volunteers and donors – Dr. Saad Bassas, Dr. Andy Wilcox, Confident Dental Lab, NDX Thoele, and Straumann USA – Anthony received nearly $27,000 of donated treatment that relieved his pain and enabled him to eat without discomfort.

“Thank you for everything that you have done for me and how you have made such a difference in my life,” said Anthony. “I will never forget you for giving me back what I needed. Now I will have a good summer because I won’t be ashamed to go outside!”

You can make a difference for more veterans by making a gift to support our Lifeline Heroes Challenge, or if you are a dental provider and wish to volunteer you can visit our Volunteer page to learn more.

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