gifts in action:

Eric's Story

High school is already hard for most teens, but for Eric, it’s been especially difficult. He’s careful not to show his teeth when he smiles out of fear that the other kids will notice he’s missing two of his front teeth. His family struggles to make ends meet, but don’t qualify for Medicaid and can’t afford private dental insurance. As a result, they thought they wouldn’t be able to get the treatment Eric needed.

That’s why they were relieved to find Apple Tree Dental, one of the few dental care providers South Central Minnesota that will accept patients like Eric. At his first appointment, Apple Tree staff discovered that he was in need of 16 fillings, including two with pulp caps due to especially deep decay.

Thankfully, Apple Tree is a member of our Dental Resource Program and can apply for grants to help patients in need of extensive restorative treatments that cost more than they can afford to pay. These grants not only help kids like Eric, but also help nonprofit clinics like Apple Tree stretch their resources so they can serve more kids who might otherwise have to go without.

“Since Eric has already suffered the loss of his two front teeth, we would like to save as many of his remaining teeth as possible,” Apple Tree’s Mary Larkin told us. “Having a healthy mouth sets a child up for a better, healthier, more productive future.”

Thanks to a generous donation from MGE: Management Experts, America’s ToothFairy issued a grant to help restore Eric’s smile to good health. Not only that, now Eric has found a dental home that can help him keep his teeth healthy to avoid future loss.

Would you like to help a teen like Eric smile again? Click here to learn more.

*Patient's name has been changed to protect their privacy. Not all grantees have provided photos. In some cases, stock photos are used to represent a patient’s gender, age and ethnicity if known.

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