Montana Dental Association

About Donated Dental Services

Hundreds of disabled and elderly citizens throughout Montana have seriously-neglected dental problems. Because of their disabilities or ages, many cannot work. Montana’s Medicaid program provides only limited dental services and Medicare does not provide dental treatment. Some people would not qualify for assistance even if they are disabled. As a consequence many disabled and elderly people often suffer because they cannot pay for the care they need.

In 1997 the Montana Dental Association and Montana Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped, aided by a grant from the state Developmental Disabilities Planning and Advisory Council and matching funds from the state Legislature launched the “Donated Dental Program” to help these people. Its purpose is to provide free, comprehensive care for people who are permanently disabled, medically compromised, or elderly and who are unable to afford dental care. Since that time 118 volunteer dentists and 55 laboratories have donated more than nearly $500,000 worth of treatment. Montana dentists and labs have been extremely generous in treating those Montanans in need.

The dentists volunteering for DDS donate services in their own offices. Dental laboratories also contribute services. A part-time coordinator, Margaret Petrick, determines eligibility of applicants, matches patients with dentists, monitors each person's progress, and coordinates laboratory services. Since the inception of the program funding for administrative costs has been appropriated by the Montana Legislature. The MDA contributes office space and other support.

DDS is always in need of dentists and labs who are willing to assist. Volunteers may elect to see one or more patients per year, and treatment is always at the dentist’s discretion. To contact Margaret Petrick telephone 406-449-9670 or 888-449-9670; or email her at


Montana Dental Association
P.O. Box 1154
Helena, Montana 59624

(In Montana only)
406-443-2061 (in the Helena area)
Fax: 406-443-1546

Copyright © Montana Dental Association, 1998-2004
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