The AAO Donated Orthodontic Services program is preparing to expand nationally in 2016. The program’s goal is to offer children in every U.S. state who could not otherwise afford orthodontic treatment the opportunity to receive treatment. (Listen to a podcast about the DOS Program Expansion.)
Practicing AAO members in all states are invited to join the DOS program as providers.
Organized by state in the nine states in which it currently operates, the DOS program will now be administered nationally by Dental Lifeline Network, with which the AAO collaborates to offer the program. Dental Lifeline refers applicants who are financially qualified to participating AAO members, who provide referred patients’ treatment on a pro bono basis.
All patients referred for treatment are indigent children without insurance coverage, or who do not qualify for other assistance in their states of residence. The DOS Board of Directors has earmarked funding to offer financial assistance to a limited number of applicants who cannot afford the program’s $200 administrative fee.
After launching in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, New Jersey and Rhode Island in 2009, the DOS program expanded to Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and Michigan in 2014. Since the program’s inception, 555 DOS patients have completed orthodontic treatment. Currently, the program has:
- More than 450 patients in treatment
- 79 cases awaiting treatment
- 503 participating orthodontists
- 16 participating dental labs providing retainers, expanders, etc. (The AAO is working to bring in additional labs.)
Dental Lifeline Network to Coordinate Orthodontic Services in All States
The Dental Lifeline Network will work with providers and patients in all states*. Dental Lifeline:
- Screens all applicants for the AAO DOS program to ensure that their financial need levels are appropriate for pro bono treatment;
- Educates applicants about the orthodontic treatment process; and
- Ensures that patients referred to orthodontists are prepared to comply with all treatment requirements.
* Providers are not required to treat a specific number of cases.
How to Become a DOS Provider
The AAO will begin publicizing the availability of the Donated Orthodontic Services program to consumers in January. To help meet the anticipated demand, AAO members in all states are encouraged to consider joining the DOS program. Qualified patient applicants in states with no DOS providers will be placed on a waiting list for treatment.
To learn more and join the program as a provider, AAO members may contact Dental Lifeline Network at DOS@dentallifeline.org or call (866) 201-5906. For questions or more information about the program, contact Jan Beck at email@example.com.
How to Donate Money to the DOS Program
The Donated Orthodontic Services Program is a 501(c)(3) charitable entity, allowing for tax-deductible contributions to the program. Contributions are used to sustain and expand the program.
AAO members, orthodontic suppliers, patients and friends of the specialty may contribute by clicking on the link below.