The North Dakota Donated Dental Services (DDS) program helps patients like Jody, a 52-year-old Army veteran who lives in Dickinson.
Jody, who is suffering from a long history of chronic back pain and sciatic nerve issues, is unable to work, and spends much of his time rock hunting around his community. Getting by on support from Veterans Affairs and an inherited Indian Land Trust, which provides oil and gas royalties, Jody lives very frugally, without a car or many other amenities. In addition to his chronic back pain, Jody’s dental health had been a lifelong challenge, struggling with anxiety related to dental work. Having not been to a dentist since 2002, Jody only had 12 teeth
remaining, many of which were decayed. Jody was suffering from recurring infections, which he had to tend to himself. Already struggling financially, the dental treatment he needed was out of reach.
How DDS Helped
This all changed when Dr. Maria “Duffy” Meyer, a DDS volunteer since 2010 and Dental Lifeline Network • North Dakota Chair came to his aid. With the help of an oral surgeon, who conducted 15 root and tooth extractions, Dr. Meyer fitted Jody with full upper and lower dentures provided by Dunn Diehl Dental Laboratory. Thanks to the compassion shown by these volunteers, Jody overcame his anxiety and received thousands of dollars-worth-of dental treatment and can now eat pain-free.