Introduced in 2009, the AAO Donated Orthodontic Services (DOS) program reflects concern among the AAO leadership about access to orthodontic treatment. The AAO collaborates with the Dental Lifeline Network (formerly the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped) to offer the DOS program. The DOS program provides pro bono orthodontic treatment for low-income children and teens who do not qualify for other types of treatment coverage.
Why Join the AAO DOS Program?
If you are an AAO member practicing in one of the five pilot states and have not yet signed up as a DOS volunteer, here are just a few reasons for doing so:
- Prospective DOS patients are screened for financial need by the Dental Lifeline Network, which has 25 years of experience in evaluating patients for donated dental services. You and your staff never have to worry about determining whether a DOS patient is truly in need;
- DOS patients are also intensively pre-screened to assess likely levels of compliance with orthodontic treatment requirements;
- Local labs, oral surgeons and other volunteer providers will also assist in the treatment of your DOS patients. You will not be expected to cover the cost of lab fees for DOS patients;
- Determine your own DOS patient load. Start with one patient a year and increase your commitment if you wish to do so;
- Review every case in advance and choose to see or decline to see the patient.
Each state has one or two orthodontists who volunteer as statewide DOS chairs. The chairs lead patient recruitment efforts, assist other doctors in joining the program and work with participating doctors, state organization leaders and Dental Lifeline Network to ensure that the program runs smoothly.
How to Volunteer
Contact your state DOS chair or your state orthodontic organization. If you are in general dentistry practice and are seeking pro bono orthodontic treatment for a patient, the state AAO DOS chairs will also be happy to assist you in finding a nearby AAO DOS provider.