Minnesota Dental Foundation

Internal Programs

The following projects of the Minnesota Dental Foundation helped provide care to the underserved.

Donated Dental Services

Donated Dental Services (DDS), a program of Dental Lifeline Network, provides free dental care to disabled, elderly and medically fragile individuals in private dental offices. In the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017, 200 patients received $1,001,708 in comprehensive care by 436 dental volunteers at a cost of $85,000. Since the program’s inception in 2003 in Minnesota, 2,006 vulnerable adults have received over $10.4 million in free care. This program has been supported by the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation since 2012. We are always looking for more dental volunteers. Contact Katie McGee, Minnesota DDS coordinator, at for more information.

Martha Mordini Rukavina Loan Forgiveness Program

The Martha Mordini Rukavina Loan Forgiveness Program is funded by the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) to help dentists pay back educational loans if they are willing to practice in the Taconite Assistance Area of northeastern Minnesota for at least five years. The recipients selected for this program each receive $30,000 for four years for a total of $120,000 as long as they comply with the program requirements. This program started in 2009 with three dentists and became a program of the Minnesota Dental Foundation in 2011. Two more recipients were selected, one in 2013 and one in 2015. The Minnesota Dental Foundation received funding from the IRRRB in January 2018 for two more applicants. Applications are currently being accepted for 2018-2019.

Minnesota Mission of Mercy

The 2018 Minnesota Mission of Mercy will be taking place on September 7-8, 2018 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Since the inception of this program in Minnesota in 2012, $5,105,100 in free dentistry has been provided in 8,035 patient encounters. The Minnesota Mission of Mercy provides free fillings, extractions, root canals, partials, children’s dentistry, hygiene and oral health education in a large temporary clinic.

Interested in learning more about this event? Click here.

Retired Dentists Program

The Retired Dentists Program is a project dedicated to retired dentists who are no longer earning any income from dentistry to reimburse them for their license, CPR and CE in return for providing volunteer dentistry to the underserved. Retired dentists must provide at least 100 hours per year (about one day per month) and receive no compensation. The State Board of Dentistry has a program that reduces the required CE to 15 from 50 every two years and the State of Minnesota has a program that provides free professional liability insurance, if needed. Currently, there are ten retired dentists in the program.

Minnesota’s Heroes Orthodontic Program

The Minnesota’s Heroes Orthodontic Program was initiated in 2015 to provide needed orthodontic care to children and spouses in Gold Star Families (families who have lost a family member to conflict in the armed services since 9/11). This program is in collaboration with Smiles Change Lives and the Minnesota Association of Orthodontists. Two children currently are in orthodontic treatment. The orthodontists provide the treatment for free and there have been no direct costs for this program. If you are aware of potential patients, please contact

Dedicated to Minnesota Dentists Loan Repayment for Service Program

The Dedicated to Minnesota Dentists Loan Repayment for Service Program provides loan repayment up to $200,000 per individual if they practice in a rural Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) for five years. This program is in collaboration with the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation and it provides the funding of the program. Two dentists were selected for 2017 in rural Minnesota with total payments of $400,000. A total of ten dentists and $2 million now has been utilized to provide dental services in rural HPSA areas of Minnesota.

Give Kids a Smile

The Give Kids a Smile program became a program of the Minnesota Dental Association in 2003 and was transferred to the Minnesota Dental Foundation in 2016. Grants and support from HealthPartners, 3M Oral Care, the Minnesota Dental Association and the Minnesota Dental Foundation contribute to the media exposure and program management of the program. Since the program’s inception in Minnesota in 2003, 74,108 children have received $20,864 million worth of free dentistry by over 30,000 volunteers.

View the Minnesota Dental Foundation’s Donor Privacy Policy here.