I have been an Eastern Oklahoma Donated Dental Services (EODDS) volunteer since its inception in 2003.
The thing that excites all of us in our office is to see the transformation of the attitude of these EODDS patients. Many go from a “hopeless” feeling to a feeling of “confidence.” For most of the patients whom we have treated over the years, we have placed some sort of removable appliance, giving them either teeth where they had none, or supplementing the remaining teeth they had with some sort of removable partial denture.
We have had comments from some of the patients saying, “Now I can smile again”, “Now I can go interview for a job with front teeth”, or “Now I don’t have to plan my smile any longer.” We have actually had a couple of patients shed tears when we gave them a mirror to see themselves with teeth again. Understand that these testimonials have come from years of providing this service, even though we usually only treat one or two patients a year but even that makes a difference…especially over 16 years.
More recently, we have been performing a bit more restorative treatment with the same appreciation from these patients. On a few occasions, we have had to place some anterior treatment which might have included a crown or more involved fixed treatment. The patients simply can’t believe the difference healthy, white teeth make in their smile. They are just floored.
I enjoy giving back to our community in the form of treatment to those less fortunate because I received a lot of help on my journey to where I am today.
I would encourage all of my EODDS colleagues to continue providing for these very appreciative patients and if you are not involved with EODDS right now, I would encourage you to get involved with it. If all of us in the EODDS district would handle just one to two cases each year, we would significantly reduce, if not, eliminate the backlog of patients seeking and needing treatment.
I promise you, you will get more out of it than the patients do!
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