Donated Dental Services
Dr. Rodney Pendleton has been donating his services ever since his friend and colleague, Dr. William Hall, introduced him Donated Dental Services more than 19 years ago.
Dr. Rodney Pendleton sits at a circular table in the lounge of his dentist office. A day or two of stubble frames his round face. He adjusts the brown wireframe glasses that nearly match his complexion. “I just try to do my part,” Dr. Pendleton says. “That’s all.” He smiles, humble, as if he doesn’t want to be in the spotlight. The part that he refers to is his work with Donated Dental Services.
Donated Dental Services (DDS) is a service that tries to find a provider who will donate dental services for those individuals who do not have the financial means for traditional care. An individual in need of dental work must first register through DDS before he or she can receive these services. The application process can be filled out in three easy steps, but the individual may have to wait a few months or even up to a year before DDS can find a provider.
There are occasions when DDS cannot find a local dentist to provide services and the patient must make the decision to wait or travel in order to receive help. “Lately,” Dr. Pendleton says, “I guess, there’s been a cut back in people donating their services, because the last person I had scheduled, just a couple of weeks ago, was coming all the way from Lafayette.” Dr. Pendleton eases back in his chair and brushes the knee of his gray scrubs. “They come this far, I’ll do what I can. [I] try to do everything at once so they don’t have to keep coming back and forth.”
Dr. Pendleton has been donating his services ever since his friend and colleague, Dr. William Hall, introduced him to the program. That was more than 19 years ago. Since Dr. Pendleton has started, he has averaged about three to four patients a year. “We bring the patient in and find out the needs of that patient. If there is something that needs to be done in a laboratory, we will try to find a lab to donate their services.”
After Dr. Pendleton has finished his services he usually receives a thank you card or a letter from the patient, and that makes it worthwhile. Dr. Pendleton is happy to be able to work with Donated Dental Services and with the other health providers involved. He looks forward to continuing to give back to the community and help in any way he can.
For more information about Donated Dental Services, visit http://dentallifeline.org.
By Daniel Breithaupt