BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS – In these tough economic times, access to orthodontic care can be a challenge. But Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky is working to remove that obstacle for some families.
Through his participation in the American Association of Orthodontists Donated Orthodontic Services program, Dr. Razdolsky is changing the lives of two young sisters from Chicago.
The AAO Donated Orthodontic Services program enables orthodontists to reach out to patients who desperately need orthodontic care that they cannot afford. The program began in 2009 to serve children without coverage, or those who don’t qualify for other forms of assistance. Five states are participating in a pilot program: Illinois, Kansas, Indiana, New Jersey and Rhode Island.
Dr. Razdolsky, a member of the Illinois DOS program, is happy to announce that he will be taking on not one, but two children in need.
Allison, 14 and Molly, 12, are sisters from Chicago whose family has been through a lot these past few years. The girls’ mom is unemployed and going to school to become a nurse. Due to their current economic situation, the family lives in the basement of their grandparents’ house.
Allison is a very active girl who enjoys playing soccer, painting and spending time with her family. She is a straight A student who wants to study law when she grows up. Her motivation for wanting braces is simple: she wants to fix her teeth. Though she is young, she understands that with braces comes responsibility, which she is 100 percent committed to. She has even said that she would take care of her braces and make sure they were cleaned every day.
Allison’s sister Molly enjoys horseback riding and has a big dream --to one day become a pediatrician. As the youngest in her family, she feels picked on because of her teeth and has even said her self-esteem is very low as a result. While a happy young girl, Molly doesn’t like to smile. Like her sister, Molly understands that braces require a personal commitment, but when she makes a promise, she is very dedicated to keeping it, Molly has said.
“When you look at these sisters, you can see a bright future ahead of them because they are so motivated, especially in school,” said Dr. Razdolsky, a traditional braces and Invisalign provider. “But when I read their submission letters, you could tell their smiles were holding them back from truly being happy.
“I believe orthodontic treatment should be available to everyone, which is why I became a volunteer orthodontist for the program,” the orthodontist said. “I know these girls would not have gotten this chance if it weren’t for the program and it’s such a wonderful feeling to give them a new outlook on life.”
Each state sets its own criteria for acceptance. The Illinois DOS program requires the following:
- Patients must be a resident of Illinois.
- Patients must be between the ages of 8 and 18; adults will be considered under special circumstances only.
- Patients cannot already be in braces or in between phases of orthodontic treatment.
- A parent or guardian must submit their most recent federal (and state, if applicable) tax returns with their application.
- Patients must be ineligible for orthodontic treatment through insurance or public aid.
The Illinois DOS program provides care at a nominal fee of $200 to children whose family cannot afford treatment. This fee covers processing applications and coordinating of care. It does not go to the orthodontists, as they are volunteers. The Illinois DOS has 99 volunteer orthodontists.
For more information about the Illinois Donated Orthodontic Services program, please visit their website at www.isortho.org.