A pearly white outlook

A local nonprofit provides dental services to those in need.



Neil Hasty, D.D.S., and Michael Smith, Ph.D.

Imagine having a toothache that interferes with daily activities and disrupts your concentration. Now, imagine being unable to afford treatment.

Since 2003, Eastern Oklahoma Donated Dental Services Inc. (EODDS) has provided free dental services, preventive dental education and oral health supplies to older Oklahomans and people with disabilities or low income. 

Tulsans Pam Beard and Margaret Lippert worked for a similiar dental organization based in Oklahoma City. When that group considered closing its Tulsa office, the two proposed a similar venture to the Tulsa County Dental Society. Beard and Lippert joined forces with three other Tulsa dentists to start the nonprofit.

“Dr. Michael Kinkaid was just adamant about doing something in Tulsa,” says Michael H. Smith, EODDS executive director. “When you think about a person’s overall health ... there are different agencies to address all these issues, and when somebody has dental problems, that affects your whole life. That affects everything. I’ve had a toothache. I know how miserable that can be.”

More than 300 member dentists provided $4.4 million in donated dental services in 2013. Member dentists apply and are vetted before joining the program, which offers continuing education credits.

In addition to the dentists’ donated time, funding from foundations supports the program. Most of the funds go toward dental supplies. 

“So many of these dentists, you call them and say, ‘I’ve got a situation here, and it’s kind of an emergency,’” Smith says. “Just as quick as you can get it out, they say, ‘Send them over right now. We’ll find a way to work them in.’”

Smith says EODDS has grown into the largest dental outreach program in the country, due in part to the need, but also because of the generosity of the community.  

Eastern Oklahoma residents can apply for services online at www.eodds.org or by calling 918-742-5544. One program serves people age 65 and older who have disabilities and receive income only from Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income. The second program works with low-income individuals. 

EODDS partners with the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless; the Women in Recovery program of Family & Children’s Services; and Healthy Women, Healthy Futures, a program of The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center College of Nursing. 

Smith joined EODDS this year after hearing about it from Kinkaid, his personal dentist. Smith knew he’d like working at the nonprofit when he retired; as a licensed professional counselor, observable results emerged more slowly than with EODDS. 

“You get immediate gratification seeing these people before and after,” Smith says. “I know this is a cosmetic issue for so many, but it’s so much more than that.”

 

EODDS and women in recovery

EODDS has served more than 160 Women in Recovery (WIR) participants since 2010. Participants receive free dental work, from filling minor cavities and root canals to major dental surgery and dentures.

Mimi Tarrasch, WIR executive senior program director, describes the partnership as nothing short of amazing. 

WIR is an alternative for eligible women who face incarceration for drug-related offenses. The program works with the court system and community partners to provide supervision, substance abuse and mental health treatment, education, workforce readiness training and family reunification services.

“A WIR participant received a full set of dentures, and that changed everything,” Tarrasch says. Along with the increased opportunity for employment, “her self-esteem improved dramatically, her look softened and her outlook was much, much brighter,” she says.

“That is a huge gift for WIR participants who desperately need the services but are unable to afford them.”

The effects registered with Smith when he attended a WIR graduation.  

“They all got up and told their stories,” Smith says. “When they got up there, it showed a before-and-after picture. A lot of those women wouldn’t open their mouths. That ‘after’ picture was nothing but smiles from ear to ear.”

Tarrasch says dental care is a critical, life-changing part of the WIR program. 

“Women report being treated respectfully and know they are receiving the same quality care that a paying patient receives,” Tarrasch says. “The best part is when they leave the program and begin working, along with the hope they can maintain visits to their dentist and pay for services themselves.”

 

EODDS in the future

In 2013, Smith says EODDS funding sources provided $5.97 in dental services for every $1 granted. 

“Our goal is going from $5.97 to $6.25,” he says. “We want to give something back. We want to make every dollar go as far as we can.” 

EODDS, a Tulsa Area United Way agency, hopes to expand and is seeking member dentists throughout the area.

 

EODDS by the numbers

2,194 new patients

5,613 total dental visits

4,010 total hours donated

An average of 183 patients received
services per month

Source: EODDS 2013 end-of-year report

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The Orbit Initiative, produced by The Tulsa Performing Arts Center and Trust, resumes its FREE community satellite adventures at seven local community centers this Saturday, January 12th, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Various
Various
Tulsa, OK  Various
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Sponsor: The Tulsa Performing Arts Center and Trust
Telephone: 918-596-7119
Contact Name: Jeremy Stevens
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As Lakota artist Oscar Howe wrote in 1958, “There is much more to Indian art than pretty, stylized pictures.” This exhibition highlights this depth and the 20th century American masters who...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Do you and your pup have "cabin fever"? Come out to the Botanic Garden during our "Dog Days of Winter" - Fridays and Saturdays during January and February only when four-legged...

Cost: Free for Garden members & their dogs. Admission + $4 per dog for non-members.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson

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Men and women from across the American West played critical roles — both “over there” and on the home front — in helping the Allies win World War I. The American Expeditionary Force (AEF)...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Few animals conjure the power and symbolic presence of the North American bison. Whether painted on a tipi or an artist’s canvas, minted on a nickel, or seen grazing in Yellowstone National Park,...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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The Museum’s Dickinson Research Center is home to more than 700,000 photographs, 44,000 books, and perhaps unexpectedly, at least 1,000 horses. Meet some of the herd in Horseplay, the new...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Pain Management Class Non-medical Treatments for Pain Non-medical treatments may be used to treat chronic pain, along with pain medicines. They might also be used alone for mild pain or...

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Where:
Glenpool Library
730 E. 141st Street
Glenpool, OK  74033
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Sponsor: Success Skills
Telephone: 405-401-3519
Contact Name: Ron Watkins

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34th Chelsea International Fine Art Competition—Opens on February 5th, 2019   Agora Gallery is pleased to invite artists from across the globe to enter the 34th Annual Chelsea...

Cost: $45 entry fee for up to 5 images ($5 for each additional image)

Where:
Agora Gallery
530 W 25th St.
New York, NY  10001
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Sponsor: Agora Gallery
Telephone: +1 212-226-4151
Contact Name: Carolina Carilo
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Winter's Grace Publishing, of northeast Oklahoma, is holding its inaugural Dead of Winter Flash Fiction Contest. It opened January 1 and it closes February 28. It's open to all creative writers...

Cost: $15 per story

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Winter's Grace Publishing
Telephone: 918-852-6311
Contact Name: C.D. Smart
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Youth members of the six area Boys & Girls Clubs compete for college scholarships in the Annual Youth of the Year competition. The winners are announced at this banquet. Volunteers making a...

Cost: $75

Where:
ORU Global Learning Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Sponsor: The Salvation Army
Telephone: 918-587-7801
Contact Name: Samantha Knappen
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Cocktails, dinner and program with live and silent auctions followed by a Casino and dancing.

Cost: $200 per person, sponsorships available

Where:
The Mayo Hotel
115 W. 5th Street
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Tulsa CASA, Inc.
Telephone: 918-584-2272
Contact Name: Paula McKay
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Dancing, cocktails, Cajun and jazz...all of the goodies that Mardi Gras has!  Come join New Hope Oklahoma in a night of Mardi Gras fun!  New Hope Oklahoma strives to end generational...

Cost: TBD

Where:
The Bond
608 E 3rd St
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Dancing, cocktails, Cajun and jazz...all of the goodies that Mardi Gras has!  Come join New Hope Oklahoma in a night of Mardi Gras fun! New Hope Oklahoma strives to end generational incarceration,...

Cost: TBD

Where:
The Bond Event Center
608 E 3rd St
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Cocktails, dinner and program;  silent and live auctions followed by a Casino and dancing.

Cost: $200 per person, sponsorships available

Where:
The Mayo Hotel
115 W. 5th Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Tulsa CASA, Inc.
Telephone: 918-584-2272
Contact Name: Paula McKay
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Support youth leaders emerging from Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Tulsa. Each candidate is competing for higher education scholarships. Our goal is for youth leader to be a winner and advance with...

Cost: $50 Individual Tickets and Sponsor Levels

Where:
Global Learning Center at ORU
7777 S Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Sponsor: The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Tulsa
Telephone: 918-587-7801
Contact Name: Samantha Knappen
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America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
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6-10:30 p.m. Southern Hills Country Club, 2636 E. 61st Street. The 2019 Lunar New Year Gala at Southern Hills Country Club will be an elegant evening of candlelight, fine dining, children’s party...

Cost: $150, individual tickets; $1,000-$25,000, sponsorships.

Where:
Southern Hills Country Club
2636 E. 61st Street
Tulsa, OK  74136
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Sponsor: Dillon International
Telephone: 918-748-5613
Contact Name: Marcia Graham
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COOKING UP COMPASSION FACT SHEET ABOUT THE EVENT:  Long time donors Margo and Kent Dunbar are Honorary Chairs for the event. Now in its fourteenth year, Cooking Up Compassion raises funds for the...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tulsa Ballroom at the Cox Business Center
3rd & Houston
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74135
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Sponsor: Catholic Charities
Telephone: 918-508-7115
Contact Name: Jennifer Allen
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Winterset is an annual formal event of the Osteopathic Founders Foundation which brings together the osteopathic profession and their community partners to benefit projects which improve the health...

Cost: $300

Where:
Hyatt Regency Tulsa
100 E 2nd St
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Osteopathic Founders Foundation
Telephone: 918-551-7300
Contact Name: Michele Caine
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Sunday in the Park with George follows painter Georges Seurat in the months leading up to the completion of his most famous painting, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte." Consumed...

Cost: $25.00 for adults, $22.50 for students & seniors with ID

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: American Theatre Company
Telephone: (918) 747-9494
Contact Name: Meghan Hurley
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TULtalk


Uncorking the Cure for MS

Approximately 300 people attended Uncorking the Cure for MS on Nov. 2 at the Mayo Hotel.

Comments: 1

MITA’s Foundation Banquet

The event was attended by 225 guests and honored Orgullo Hispano 2018 award recipients.

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7 things to do in northwest Arkansas

If you have a free day or two, a short drive to northwest Arkansas has a lot to enjoy.

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Voters choose Gathering Place as USA Today’s Best New Attraction

Tulsa’s world-class 66-acre riverfront park wins national poll by popular vote

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2.2: Mending with Gold — Ana Berry

On this episode of the Tulsa Talks podcast, Ana Berry is a champion for the city with a new perspective on life.

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