Doing Good: Dentists offer services to veterans

Of the more than 21 million veterans across the U.S. today, fewer than 10 million are enrolled for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health benefits, which for many does not include dental care.

On June 25, Aspen Dental Care will host its second annual Dental Day of Service, offering free dental care for local veterans as part of the Healthy Mouth Movement, a community-giving initiative launched in 2014 to deliver free dental care and oral health education to people in need.

“After the first day of services, we noticed a need among veterans for dental services, and since then Aspen has strengthened its commitment to serving veterans who so selflessly served our country,” said Dr. Candace Lauderdale, Aspen Dental practice owner in Columbus, Ga., Lagrange, Ga., and Opelika, Ala.

On this day, dentists and volunteers at nearly 400 Aspen Dental participating offices will open their doors to veterans across the nation. This community giving initiative has treated more than 7,000 patients for free, totaling more than $4.1 million in donated care since its start in 2014.

The first priority is to get patients out of pain, make them aware of what other dental needs they have and connect them with free or low-cost resources in their community that will help them continue to address their dental care needs.

In Georgia, the day of service will take place in Cartersville, Gainesville, Canton, Hiram, Douglasville, Carrollton, Newnan, Athens, LaGrange, Rome, Conyers and Cumming,

The initiative is currently seeking veterans to sign up for this community event so it can continue to give back to those who have served.

In addition to a nation-wide Day of Service, the Healthy Mouth Movement brings the Aspen Dental MouthMobile, a 42-foot dental office on wheels that provides free dental care to veterans across the country – directly into communities to allow easier access to care.

“This effort has been life-changing for myself and my peers who get to see their smiles, health and confidence restored through the care they receive,” added Lauderdale. “It’s the least we can do to provide a service for their service and I am very proud to be a part of this effort.”

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Who’s doing good?Each Tuesday, we write about charity events such as fun-runs, volunteer projects and other community gatherings that benefit a good cause. To suggest an event for us to cover, contact Devika Rao at doing.goodAJC@gmail.com

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