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AAO broadens effort for underserved kids

January 12, 2016

By Michelle Manchir

Dr. Guymon
More underserved children in the U.S. could receive orthodontic treatment in 2016 under an expanded program the American Association of Orthodontists announced in December.
The AAO Donated Orthodontic Services program will aim to operate in every state this year thanks to help from Dental Lifeline Network, which will coordinate the orthodontic services and screen applicants. Previously, the program was offered in nine states.
"Orthodontic care can make an invaluable difference for some families and kids," said Dr. Myron Guymon, a Utah orthodontist and AAO board member. "It's so much more than just straight teeth. It's a smile, it's an attitude, it's feeling good about yourself."
Patients referred for treatment are indigent children without insurance coverage, or who do not quality for other assistance in their states of residence, according to the orthodontist association's news release. Funding from the association is available for a limited number of applicants who cannot afford the program's $200 administrative fee.
To help meet anticipated demand for services, the AAO is encouraging its members in every state to join the program. Providers are not required to treat a specific number of cases. Interested donors can also make financial contributions to the Donated Orthodontic Services Program, a 501(c)(3) organization.
To learn more about the program and join it as a provider, contact Dental Lifeline Network at DOS@Dentallifeline.org or call 866-201-5906.
Dentists can also contribute to Dental Lifeline Network through its Donated Dental Services (DDS) program, which, similar to the orthodontics program, offers dental services to people with disabilities or who are elderly or medically fragile and who are prescreened for eligibility.
Volunteer needs vary from state to state and include both general dentists and specialists. To find out how to volunteer in your area, visit DentalLifeline.org.