Dr. Gordon J. Christensen is no stranger to advancing the dental profession. He is the Founder and CEO of Practical Clinical Courses, Co-Founder and CEO of the Clinicians Report Foundation, and has released numerous publications, just to name a few of his accomplishments. Dr. Christensen has presented more than 45,000 hours of continuing education over the years, and counting. One way he continues his own education is by volunteering with DLN, where he helps people in need like Jared.
Jared, 37, lives with his grandmother in central Utah and is a huge Utah Jazz fan. At one time, he was also an avid basketball player but he is now suffering from a severe genetic disorder called Ankylosing Spondylitis – a type of arthritis that affects the spine. Jared has undergone several major surgeries including a 10-hour back surgery. Over the next few years, he is scheduled to undergo another back surgery and will eventually need total hip and knee replacements. Jared tries to keep his spirits up and gets out and about as much as possible.
In addition to his medical condition, Jared’s oral health was deteriorating. Jared is unable to work because of his health and uses his Social Security Disability benefit to contribute to his grandmother’s household expenses. The family has limited resources and could not afford the dental treatment that Jared needed. It seemed they had nowhere to turn for help.
Fortunately, the Utah School of Dentistry referred Jared to DLN, where he matched with Dr. Christensen. During his initial exam, Dr. Christensen found that many of Jared’s teeth were broken, making it painful for him to chew food and brush his teeth. Jared’s DLN coordinator match him with oral surgeon Dr. Gary Crawford, who performed extractions. Dr. Christensen then donated and placed implant-retained upper and lower dentures for Jared, allowing him to smile, eat, and brush his teeth without pain.
In addition to volunteering with DLN to help people like Jared, Dr. Christensen serves on our DLN • National Board. He is involved in numerous other organizations, such as the Academy of General Dentistry, the International College of Dentists, the Academy of LDS Dentists, and many more. He is a fierce advocate of giving back, and he often promotes DLN in his lectures.
“Today I ask you to join me in donating your time for an important cause: Dental Lifeline Network (DLN), a strategic partner of the American Dental Association. The goal is to help Utah’s most vulnerable residents get much-needed dental treatment. These are our friends and neighbors who are elderly or disabled or medically fragile, and can neither afford treatment nor obtain public aid. Will you see one?”
–Dr. Gordon Christensen, DLN Board of Directors and Volunteer
Learn more about volunteering or to learn about DLN in your state, visit our state pages.