Care for Special Needs Patients

Several programs exist to assist special needs patients obtaining dental care in Illinois. Some are volunteer organizations, while others are operated and funded by the State of Illinois. Many local county health departments are also beginning to provide dental care to these patients. Contact your county health department to see if they provide dental services in your area.

Dental Lifeline Network Program

The Donated Dental Services (DDS) Program operated by Dental Lifeline Network · Illinois serves people with disabilities who are elderly or medically fragile and cannot afford needed dental treatment and have no other way of getting help. Qualified applicants must be permanently disabled, chronically ill, medically fragile or elderly. Each person's condition must be severe enough to prohibit or significantly limit gainful employment. In addition, they can neither afford dental care nor receive it through other programs. They must need extensive treatment, not just a cleaning and check-up. For additional information, please visit

Passion McCaleb, DDS Coordinator
847.498.0385 or
P.O. Box 211
Northbrook, IL 60065

Lisa Williamson, DDS Coordinator
309.691.5938 or

Dental Lifeline Network · Illinois
P.O. Box 10342
Peoria, IL 61602

Division of Specialized Care for Children at UIC

Established in 1937 and administered by the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Division of Specialized Care for Children is the Illinois Title V agency that provides care coordination for families and children with special health care needs. DSCC children with disabilities, and those who have conditions which may lead to disabilities, grow and develop to the full extent of their abilities.

Each year, more than 20,000 families in all 102 counties in the State of Illinois receive services from DSCC. A network of professional staff coordinates services through 13 regional offices across the state.

For more information, call 800/322-3722.


Illinois Provider Directory

The Illinois Provider Directory was created in 2001 to assist families and pediatricians in identifying providers who are interested in working with children, youth, and young adults with special health care needs. Individuals with special health care needs are those who have or are at an increased risk for chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions and who require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children in general. Finding the necessary health care providers can be a difficult and often overwhelming task for individuals and families seeking services. This online resource establishes a single source for locating information about providers who care for children, youth, and young adults with special health care needs. The directory includes listings for pediatricians, family physicians, pediatric specialists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech pathologists, audiologists, mental health specialists, pediatric dentists, and other health care providers.