The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America has awarded a $125,000 grant to Dental Lifeline Network (DLN) to help meet the needs of the residents of the state of Washington who are disabled, elderly, or medically fragile and suffer from painful and untreated dental diseases due to cost and lack of medical coverage.
Services funded by the grant will begin to relieve the 147 cases currently backlogged in Washington due to insufficient funding. The most immediate need will be to increase staffing hours to help expedite the process as well as identify volunteer dentists who can commit to treating patients.
Eligible patients include those who have disabilities or are elderly or medically fragile and suffer from dental diseases that can make eating and communicating difficult. The grant is estimated to result in nearly $1 million in patient care over the course of two years, as $8.87 is provided in care for each dollar given to DLN.
“Though dentists and many labs donate their services, funding is still needed to support these volunteers,” said Fred Leviton, DLN CEO. “Thanks to Guardian’s contribution, we’ll be able to do so and bring services to people in need who have no other way to get treatment.”
“Our goal as one of the leading commercial and government dental insurance providers is to provide the most vulnerable communities with access to quality dental services,” said Chris Swanker, CEO of Avesis, a Guardian company. “We are proud to partner with Dental Lifeline Network to help Washingtonians receive the life-changing dental work needed by so many.”
Through its Donated Dental Services program, DLN provides comprehensive dental care through a national network of 15,000 volunteer dentists and 3,700 volunteer laboratories. In 2017, DLN launched its Will You See One campaign to encourage dentists to find the capacity to donate dental care and change lives within their own communities.
“Dental care is one of the top unmet needs across the state of Washington,” said Terry Buckenheimer, DDS, volunteer and national DLN board member.
“Being a volunteer provides an opportunity to give back to those who truly need our services. They have been put in this situation because of health issues or circumstances that are out of their control. These patients are very thankful for the dental care they receive. I encourage dentists in Washington to volunteer,” Buckenheimer said.
Washington dentists and laboratories interested in volunteering can contact DLN at (888) 623-2780 or visit willyouseeone.org.