GDA Action September 2019

September 2019 • 43 Will you see one patient through the Dental Lifeline Network • Georgia Donated Dental Services (DDS) program? The DDS program restores the oral health and often transforms the lives of the patients we serve like Mark, 55, who lives in DeKalb County. Mark suffers from end-stage renal disease and undergoes dialysis treatment three times per week. Mark needs a kidney transplant but did not qualify for the transplant wait list until he received dental clearance and is infection-free for surgery. It had been nearly 30 years since he had been to a dentist and his dental health needed attention. In addition, he suffered a stroke in 2009 that left him with mild memory loss and weakness on the left side of his body. He enjoys working out two times a week to help with strengthening his muscles and taking walks when he can. Unfortunately, Mark was unable to afford the dental treatment he needed. Surviving on a small Social Security Disability benefit, he struggles to make ends meet. Though he was desperate for help with his teeth, it seemed he had nowhere to turn. How DDS Helped Thankfully, Fresenius Kidney Care referred Mark to the Donated Dental Services (DDS) program, and he was linked with two generous GDA member volunteers and received donated treatment that restored his dental health and allowed him to receive dental clearance for a kidney transplant. p p Dr. Rodney Baier extracted two decayed teeth and donated four deep cleanings. p p Dr. Amy D. Kuhmichel, an oral surgeon, extracted four more teeth. Dr. Baier commented on the ease of which he was able to serve Mark through the DDS program. “For any dentist interested in serving others or volunteerism who finds it challenging to go to another facility to volunteer, DDS makes it very simple by doing all the patient selection and screening allowing the dentist to see these patients at their own office and when circumstances allow,” said Dr. Baier. Georgia Donated Dental Services (DDS) is a program of Dental Lifeline Network in partnership with the Georgia Dental Association and ADA. DLN is a national humanitarian organization providing access to comprehensive dental care for people with disabilities or who are elderly or medically fragile and have no other way to get help. 317 appreciative patients in Georgia have received treatment from over 187 volunteers. “I am so thankful and appreciative for Dr. B.,” said Mark. “I am blessed to receive this care. You are a life saver! Thank you!” To volunteer or learn more about the DDS Program, visit or contact Georgia DDS coordinator Martha LaGrone at or 404.993.4003. GDA Members Assist Man in Need of Kidney Transplant through Donated Dental Services Program “I am so thankful and appreciative for Dr. B.,” said Mark. “I am blessed to receive this care. You are a life saver! Thank you!” Dr. Rodney Baier with DDS patient, Mark