How long have you been an EODDS volunteer?
I’ve been a volunteer for EODDS for half a year so far.
What is the most rewarding part of being an EODDS volunteer?
I’d say the most rewarding part of volunteering through EODDS has been meeting and getting to know the patients in the program. The more we see them, the more we realize that these are some truly deserving people. In my opinion, it’s not at all about the work itself, but rather the impact the work has on our patients. The patients we’ve seen all support other people and they speak with nothing but love for the family members they support in their lives. It’s tremendous to know that by making one part of their lives a little easier, they can then give back even more to the people in their own lives.
Describe an EODDS success story at your practice.
Last year we met a gentleman who had been seen at several dental offices over the years getting his smile fixed here and there because that was all he could afford to do at a time. After investing all his effort into fixing one problem, another would crop up to take its place. A diagnosis of nasopharyngeal cancer 5 years ago had wreaked havoc on his dentition and while he was grateful to be in remission, he knew the damage to his teeth was almost terminal. He was a mechanic at a local garage, a dedicated father and husband, and a deserving patient if I had ever met one. A few fillings, a couple of crowns, and an extraction after we first met him, and he was beaming ear to ear. It was not at all difficult to get that work done for him, but to see his genuine happiness and gratitude at the end of his time with us made it seem like we had achieved something exceptional. While it might have been routine for us, it was extraordinary for this patient, and that made the experience infinitely more rewarding. His gratitude almost seemed disproportionate to what we did for him, but we equally grateful to have met and helped a man like him.
What would you say to other dentists who are not currently volunteers?
EODDS affords us a rare opportunity to give freely and fully to patients who truly need life-changing treatment. It’s all too often that we get caught up with the day-to-day tedium of working in our offices, whether it’s dealing with insurance issues or hearing the all-too-common “I hate being at the dentist”. While that’s certainly part of the job, EODDS patients in my experience are incredibly grateful for the work we do, and lifting a burden off of their shoulders, we make it easier for them to take care of the people in their lives. It has been a joy to help these patients.
Become an EODDS Volunteer Dentist