Robert Spencer had not eaten solid food in years.
Spencer, a U.S. Navy veteran, visited the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine to have his teeth adjusted, an issue that prevented him from using his dentures and led to his losing a substantial amount of weight.
He left the school that day with a smile from ear to ear, having received the adjustment needed to use his dentures.
Spencer was one of 174 veterans who attended the dental school’s second annual Dentistry Smiles on Veterans Day, a program that thanks local service men and women for their service with free screenings, cleanings, restorations, extractions and repairs.
During the day of free dental care, the program aims to deliver needed services to veterans who lack dental insurance or do not qualify for dental treatment levitra soft tabs through the Veterans Health Administration, a benefit reserved only for those with service-related dental injuries.
“It’s the day after Veterans Day, so it’s the perfect day to help veterans,” said Brendan Dowd, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry.
“They are a great segment of our population who have served us immensely and given up a lot of sacrifices. So this is a small token of our appreciation.”
Dentistry Smiles on Veterans Day was a partnership between the School of Dental Medicine, the Eighth District Dental cheap cialis india Society and the New York State Dental Association.
The effort called on hundreds of volunteers from the community, including 45 local dentists and hygienists, 50 UB dental school staff members and 150 dental students. Faculty from the School of Social Work also provided counseling services.
“As a former naval officer, this event means a great deal to me,” said Joseph Zambon, dean of the School of Dental Medicine, who was reminded of his experience treating Vietnam War veterans as a dental resident at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.
“I feel great pride witnessing my fellow colleagues within the dental community rally together to help those who served in the U.S. military.”
Throughout the day, the care provided ranged from a simple cleaning to oral surgery.
After the veterans received treatment, dental school staff assisted those who lacked a primary care dentist with finding a dental home, whether at UB or with a dentist in the community.
“I came here not knowing what to expect,” said U.S. Navy veteran Douglas Barney. “It’s kind of humbling … I’m so happy to see such a large turnout and people who actually care that they have the freedom that we ultimately were able to provide for them.”
30 Days of Giving 2016
- Day 1: Cortland Perspective on Poverty
- Day 2: Chef & Child at Erie Community College
- Day 3: Elder Care at SUNY Delhi
- Day 4: Be the Match at Morrisville
- Day 5: Food for Parking at Fulton-Montgomery Community College
- Day 6: Supporting Refugee Students at Buffalo State
- Day 7: Honoring a Historic Legacy With a Day Of Service at Old Westbury
- Day 8: Art in Vacant Spaces from Purchase College
- Day 9: Global Day of Service at Binghamton
- Day 10: Artistic Collaboration at Dutchess CC
- Day 11: Athletes Pitch In To Community Service at Cayuga CC
- Day 12: Feeding the Community at System Admin
- Day 13: Maritime Cadets Help Intrepid Museum
- Day 14: Filling an Empty Stocking at Empire State College
- Day 15: A Children's Christmas at Herkimer County Community College
- Day 16: Student Nurse Mentoring at Farmingdale State
- Day 17: Healthy Athletes Program at HVCC
- Day 18: Opening a Food Pantry at Oswego
- Day 19: Donating Books for Children at UAlbany
- Day 20: Arts & Crafts with Girls Inc. at Schenectady County Community College
- Day 21: Teddy Bear Toss at Geneseo
- Day 22: SUNY Canton Lending a Hand at St Mary's Church
- Day 23: Helping a Student in Need at Adirondack Community College
- Day 24: Alfred State Celebrates Service
- Day 25: Baby & Toddler Clothing Pantry at Monroe Community College
- Day 26: Adopt-A-Family at SUNY Orange County Community College
- Day 27: Free Dental Care for Veterans at UBuffalo
- Day 28: Fashion Design for Disabled Women at FIT
- Day 29: Care Packages for the Troops at Fredonia
- Day 30: A Spirit of Giving Throughout Ulster County Community College
- BONUS: Holiday Food Boxes at Rockland Community College