Benefits administrator blog from Delta Dental

Tag: giving back

Stories to smile about: Robert

Dental care with dignity – war veteran gets his smile and his life back.

2-minute read

What if a healthy smile could restore dignity, improve your quality of life and career outlook? For one very deserving man, that’s exactly what happened when he visited one of the UNLV Delta Dental Saturday Morning Community Clinics.

After many years of suffering with teeth that caused physical and emotional pain, Vietnam War veteran Robert Bennett finally received the care his smile needed at the Sgt. Clint Ferrin Memorial Clinic, one of four dental clinics that make up the UNLV Delta Dental Saturday Morning Community Clinics.

This is what Robert had to say to UNLV about his experience at the clinic:

“It’s not only [that I was] happy with the care, it’s the professionalism that goes along with it — it’s the way you’re treated from the time you walk through the door, to the time that you get into the chair. And then the doctors that oversee what [the dental students] do and help, they come up constantly, and they introduce themselves and let you know what you’re going to be going through.

[They] had to surgically remove almost every tooth in my mouth, or what was left of my teeth. [After receiving treatment and a full set of dentures,] I’m eating and smiling and communicating with people again. It changes your life. I mean it just gives you your dignity back. You are somebody again. And I get to apply again for a job. Look what they did!”

Robert Bennett, Vietnam War veteran

Robert’s story is especially meaningful to us at Delta Dental. Last year, The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation granted $50,000 to support these clinics, which provide much needed dental care to underinsured and uninsured people throughout Southern Nevada.

Successes like this are the reason the Foundation exists — to improve health and enhance lives in the communities we serve. We’re so grateful for partners like the UNLV School of Dental Medicine, who give us opportunities like this one to make a real difference.


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Do you have a project that qualifies for funding? Visit the Foundation’s section of our website to learn more and apply for funding.

Bright smiles for a brighter future

While our main focus is keeping nearly 36 million enrollees’ smiles healthy, we also play a big part in keeping communities healthy. That’s why we invest in the communities we serve by giving back, supporting oral health education and taking care of the environment. Take a look.

Philanthropy
Every year, we donate a portion of our collective companies’ net income. That money supports almost 400 dental clinics, sponsors a wealth of scholarships and provides grants for oral health programs.1 Here are some of the ways we’ve helped recently:

Educational outreach
In addition to supporting dental students, children are also a priority when it comes to oral health education. Over the last five years, our Dental Wellness & Education Initiative has benefitted more than 40,000 children through the fun, free presentations and resources we offer to public schools across the country.

A main feature of this program is Ratoncito Pérez, the Hispanic counterpart to the Tooth Fairy, who helps us connect with the growing number of bicultural children. This legendary character visits elementary schools to teach children about the importance of oral hygiene in an entertaining way. In 2015, Ratoncito also became the star of the award-winning educational video, “The Adventures of Ratoncito Pérez”.

Watch the video.

Sustainability
The greener the earth, the whiter the smile … at least that’s what we’d like to see. We’re working our way to a more sustainable future by reducing our environmental footprint across the enterprise. We do that by:

  • Significantly reducing the waste we send to landfills
  • Investing in renewable energy credits (RECs)
  • Fostering green facilities — four of our buildings have achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification!

Learn more about our green initiatives.

Together, these are just a few of the ways our companies are working not only to advance oral health and access, but also to contribute to a brighter, healthier world. After all, what good is a healthy smile if there’s nothing to smile about?

 

1 DDPA Public Benefits Survey

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