NEW HAMPSHIRE DONATED DENTAL SERVICES (DDS) PROGRAM ANNUAL REPORT July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012

Many New Hampshire residents with disabilities or who are elderly or medically fragile suffer from serious dental problems because they cannot afford treatment. Many depend on government assistance for their health care; Medicare does not provide dental treatment and New Hampshire’s Medicaid program only covers emergency dental care for adults.  Countless individuals suffer in agonizing pain from severely neglected dental problems and have no where to turn for help.

In 2000, the New Hampshire Dental Society (NHDS) endorsed developing a Donated Dental Services (DDS) program to help some of these neglected individuals. The New Hampshire Department of Health contracted with the NHDS to begin services in September 2002 and the Office of Health Planning and Medicaid had subsequently provided some of the operating funds to support the DDS program until this fiscal year. Services continue thanks to the on-going generosity of Northeast Delta Dental, the New Hampshire Dental Society, the Cogswell Benevolent Trust and the Norwin S. and Elizabeth N. Bean Foundation.

The DDS program wouldn’t be possible if not for the 145 dentists and 54 dental laboratories that volunteer their services.  55 of the volunteers statewide are specialists, leaving only 90 general dentists available for initial referrals. This fiscal year, the program enabled 91 individuals with special needs to access $263,386 worth of dental care.  DDS received 55 new applications during the fiscal year, leaving a back-log total of 225 applicants who are waiting to receive care.

Ms. Jan Denson is the part-time DDS Coordinator, working 12 hours a week in office space donated by Northeast Delta Dental. Ms. Denson determines each applicant’s eligibility, links patients with nearby volunteer dentists, monitors each patient’s progress, arranges laboratory services and the help of specialists as necessary, and thanks the volunteers when they complete a case. Resolving problems that may interfere with care is, perhaps, her most important duty.

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15 Responses to NEW HAMPSHIRE DONATED DENTAL SERVICES (DDS) PROGRAM ANNUAL REPORT July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012

  1. Laurie Brown says:

    Hi, I am one of those in desperate need of dental care…a dental surgeon to be specific..I have 8 broken teeth and have been on antibiotics from my pcp since sept 2012 for abcesses. I am 51 and on medicaid and in severe pain from my dental issues…how do I get on your waiting list? Thank you and God Bless

    • neddblog says:

      Hi Laurie,
      Thank you for reading my blog and sharing your story, Laurie. I have forwarded your information to Jan Denson, Coordinator of the Donated Dental Services (DDS) program in New Hampshire. She will be in touch with you directly with further information and provide you with an application for benefits through the DDS program, a program of Dental Lifeline Network – New Hampshire. The Donated Dental Services program was designed to help provide relief for the many folks just like you in need of a helping hand. In the meantime, please also contact Medicaid at 800-852-3345 for more information on dentists in your area.

      Anyone with questions about the Donated Dental Services program can find answers on the website, nfdh.org, or specifically for New Hampshire residents: nfdh.org/donated-dental-services-dds/state-dds-programs/new-hampshire. There is an on-line application which can be downloaded and returned to the appropriate address listed.

      Thanks
      Tom

  2. Virginia Sullivan says:

    As the woman above states, I too have had trouble getting help with much needed dental care. Every where I go, I hit a brick wall. Medicaid and disability does not consider this a health issue. My dental issues are directly related to a severe health issue called GERD. I have lost all my back teeth and my front are disenegrating rapidly. I have had several abcesses and cannot eat a diet that is nessecary for my stomach health. I am 52, on disability and am also in severe pain. Can you help or is this another brick wall?

    • neddblog says:

      Dear Virginia,
      It’s perhaps a matter of finding the right resource designed to help your specific situation that will preclude you from hitting “brick walls.” There are many organizations out there designed to help folks in times of need. In addition to the sources I mentioned in my earlier response to Laurie, a really awesome, core starting place available out there for anybody with any need is as quick as dialing 2-1-1 on your phone. Launched in New Hampshire in 2008, 211 is a statewide, comprehensive, information and referral helpline. This invaluable resource line, available in 41 states, provides a direct link to resources and health and human services available to aid residents in crisis situations (in New Hampshire, there’s a website to complement the phone line at http://www.211nh.org). There are literally hundreds of programs to help citizens with nearly any issue you could imagine, and 211 is a fast track to making the right access connection, such as in your case, to community action programs and dental clinics. 211 will help direct you to options of which you may not be aware, possibly right in your own home town, as well as broader alternatives. Make the call today to 2-1-1 to find the right safety net for your situation; you are not alone, Virginia.
      Good luck,
      Tom

  3. Virginia Sullivan says:

    Thank you

  4. Sharon says:

    Hello!

    I have several broken teeth and my smile is horrible. I work in a hotel, which is even worse, because I have to smile all the time. I am on penicillin at least three times a year for infections. I have Mainecare, and they do not cover any dental. Is there any way you can help?

    Thank you

    Sharon

    • neddblog says:

      Hi Sharon,
      Thank you for your comment! Jan Denson, our Dental Lifeline Coordinator, will be in touch with you through email or via telephone. You should hear from her shortly.
      Thanks
      Tom Raffio

  5. Kelly Sullivan says:

    I am 29yrs old. Have lost most of my teeth and the ones i do have left are week and cracking. I find it hard to eat because of this and i am in pain most of the time. My life is on hold job wise because of this. I have no health insurance and i am at a loss as what to do. I have lost weight and my health is failing. I need to have my teeth pulled and dentures. Can some one help?

    • neddblog says:

      Good morning,
      Thank you for you comment and visiting my blog. Jan Denson, Dental Lifeline Coordinator, should be in touch with you if she has not already reached you. She will be able to provide assistance or direct you to resources that can help.
      Thanks
      Tom Raffio

  6. I am looking for services for my 11 year old son, he needs extensive dental work but I can not afford the $2,000+ that the orthodontist wants to do all the necessary work he needs. I know that he needs to have an expander put in and eventually braces. He has a few teeth that have not come down in the right spot due to the fact that he had to have a tumor removed from his front teeth which was causing them to either come through incorrectly or not come down at all. I want more than anything for him to have a chance to have his teeth saved because he is to young to have them damaged beyond repair. Any assistance that I may get to help him get the necessary help would be greatly appreciated. I am a single mother of three children, my oldest is intellectually challenged and unable to work, my middle child works full time and is also a full time student and me I am a full time student working on my bachelors degree in addiction services and plan on continuing on for my master to work with clients who suffer from mental illness and substance abuse issues. I personally have dental issues and need extensive dental work also but I am older and want more than anything to provide better for my child. Though I am sure the reason why I am unable to find work is because even though people shouldn’t be so shallow I know my teeth have a lot to do with me not being able to find work so that I can provide a better life for my children. Any assistance that can be offered would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you for your time

    • neddblog says:

      Good morning Cheri,
      Thanks for your comment. Jan Denson, Dental Lifeline Coordinator will be reaching out to you by phone or email shortly, unless she has already done so. She will be able to assist you further and direct you to resouces to help you and your 11 year old son.
      Thanks
      Tom Raffio

  7. I am a 69 yo man on Disability with multiple health issues. Medicare paid to have my teeth removed this month but I need to have $900 to enable me to get the dentures I need. Are there any resources available to help as I cannot afford that amount.

    • neddblog says:

      Good afternoon William,
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing about your needs. Jan Denson, Dental Lifeline Coordinator will be reaching out to you soon. Jan will be able to assist you further and will direct you to resources that may be able to provide the assistance you need.
      Thanks
      Tom Raffio

  8. shelby says:

    Is this website/thread still active? Im absolutely desperate for dental help. I chipped a chunk off of one of my front teeth. One tooth is almost gone, another Chipping away. Im just really, really embarressed and refuse to smile and need some kind of help. Im on Social Security Disability and have Medicaid but no dental insurance. If someone could help me that would be great.

    • neddblog says:

      Greetings,
      Thanks for your inquiry. Jan Denson, our DDS Coordinator will be in touch with you.
      Thanks
      Tom Raffio

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