Avēsis, a Guardian company, has awarded a $250,000 grant to Dental Lifeline Network (DLN) to help the nonprofit organization expand dental care for individuals who are elderly, medically fragile, or living with disabilities via its Donated Dental Services (DDS) program.
These individuals often suffer from seriously neglected diseases and are unable to access dental care due to the cost or a lack of dental coverage, Avēsis said.
In partnership with Guardian Life, Avēsis has contributed $1.2 million to DLN in the past three years, which equals $15 million in donated services. Efforts have focused on national outreach as well as statewide programs in Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.
“When we embarked on this journal with Dental Lifeline Network, we shared the common goal of reaching individuals who are underserved, uninsured, and in desperate need of dental care,” said Chris Swanker, CEO of Avēsis.
“In the last three years and together with DLN, we’ve made considerable progress in helping increase oral health equity across the US and remain committed to addressing the health barriers that exist for many people as it pertains to quality oral care,” said Swanker.
The latest grant will further help DLN extend volunteer dentist recruitment to help efforts via targeted statewide programs in Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, Utah, and West Virginia.
The programs include recruiting dental students to volunteer and supporting the Will You See One Vet campaign, which engages volunteer dentists to help veterans with special needs. Most veterans do not qualify for dental benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
For example, Donna served in the Army and suffered from a number of health issues affecting her physical and dental health. She was referred to Will You See One Vet and received comprehensive care, including 13 tooth extractions and full dentures to restore her smile and confidence.
“During this time when getting dental treatment is especially difficult for people with special needs, we are so grateful for Avēsis wonderful support,” said Fred Leviton, CEO of DLN. “To date, their support has resulted in $15 million in donated dental care to help people that would not otherwise receive it.”
Through DDS, DLN provides complementary, comprehensive dental care through a national network of nearly 15,000 volunteer dentists and 3,400 volunteer laboratories. Since its inception in 1985, it has surpassed $493 million in donated dental therapies, transforming the lives of 165,600 people.