Dental Care For Disabled Veterans

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Dental Care For Disabled Veterans – CHICAGO, May 4, 2022 // — Aspen Dental today announced its annual Day of Service – providing free care to military veterans across the country – to take place on Saturday, June 11. Now in its eighth year, nearly 500 Aspen Dental locations will open their doors on the annual Day of Service to provide free, much-needed dental care to America’s military veterans in honor of their service.

“At Aspen Dental, we are committed to removing barriers to care – especially when it comes to our nation’s veterans, who have given so much to all of us,” said Arwinder Judge, DDS, Chief Clinical Officer of Aspen Dental. “Day of Service is a tremendous opportunity for Aspen’s dental care teams across the country to make a difference in the lives of veterans and connect them to the care they often desperately need.”

Dental Care For Disabled Veterans

Dental Care For Disabled Veterans

Since 2014, Aspen dentists and their dental teams nationwide have donated more than $23 million in dental services to more than 30,000 U.S. military veterans and those in need through the company’s Healthy Mouths movement.

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Millions of Americans struggle to get dental care each year, and military veterans are no exception—in fact, veterans are not eligible for dental care through the US Department of Veterans Affairs unless they are 100% disabled and have a service-connected condition. injury. , or was a prisoner of war. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans have faced additional oral care challenges, as dentists report an increase in teeth grinding, cavities and gum disease, largely attributed to pandemic-related stress and changes in health habits.

How Veterans Can Make an Appointment Starting today, Veterans can call 1-844-277-3646 (1-844-ASPENHMM) to find a participating Aspen dental office in their community and make an appointment. Prior notice is required.

During Day of Service, Aspen Dental doctors and their dental care teams are focused on addressing the most pressing dental needs to help relieve veterans’ pain, from fillings and extractions to hygiene and basic dentures.

Aspen Dental was founded in New York in 1998 by Bob Fontana with a simple goal: to break down the barriers doctors and patients face in dental care. Today, more than 20 years later, with nearly 1,000 Aspen Dental locations across the country, the company’s mission remains the same – to provide better care to more people. Aspen Dental is a group of the world’s largest branded dental practices. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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TAG – Aspen Group was built on the simple idea of ​​providing better healthcare to as many people as possible. TAG and the independent healthcare practices it supports operate more than 1,100 locations in 45 states through four healthcare support companies: Aspen Dental®, ClearChoice Dental Implant Centers®, WellNow Urgent Care® and Chapter Aesthetic Studio.

. Together, the companies serve more than 35,000 patients a day and more than 8 million patients a year. TAG is headquartered at 800 W. Fulton Market in Chicago. For more information, visit and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter. Eric Kern, a Navy veteran and dentist, talks about the new X-ray machine at the US VA Health Care Center in Greenville. The polyclinic offers dental services for veterinarians. Photo: Anne Blythe

As a cold wind whipped tiny American flags along the path leading to the Veterans Health Care Center in Greenville, dozens of people gathered under a nearby white tent in eastern North Carolina early Friday afternoon.

Dental Care For Disabled Veterans

Days before Veterans Day, they gathered to celebrate the service of 22 World War II veterans in a nation of more than 730,000 who have served in the military.

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At a medical facility about a hundred yards away, Eric Kern, a Navy veteran, worked to provide a service and benefit that many veterans say is one of the hardest to qualify for — dental care.

Veterans can get medical care through the federal Department of Veterans Affairs, but dental care is not available to everyone.

To receive full benefits, veterans must be 100 percent disabled, or prisoners of war, or be able to connect their dental condition to their service.

In a 2017 survey, homeless male vets ranked dental care among their top four unmet needs. For the surveyed women, it was the third largest unmet need.

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Claude Campbell, an Army veteran who now lives in Vanceboro, said Friday after the ceremony that over the years he has heard complaints from veterans about the difficulties they face if they don’t get dental care from the VA.

“I’ve heard some guys talk about it,” said Campbell, a 64-year-old who doesn’t receive dental care after serving 10 years in the military. “I understand why I can’t do that for everyone.”

The Greenville VA Medical Center Dental Clinic performed 3,566 exams for veterans this year.

Dental Care For Disabled Veterans

Kern and three other dentists who work with him at the Greenville VA center are developing a plan with the East Carolina University School of Dentistry that could expand care to even more veterans.

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The Veterans Affairs Health Care Center in Greenville, N.C., has a dental clinic for veterans. Photo: Anne Blythe

A few weeks ago, a group interested in continuing the partnership met for a roundtable in a conference room at the two-story, 116,000-square-foot center, where veterans can meet a variety of health care needs.

Robert Tempel Jr., retired major general and associate dean for outstanding clinical practice at the ECU School of Dentistry, participated in these discussions.

Such a collaboration would add ECU Dental Clinic to the list of community care providers to which Kern and other VA dentists can refer veterans under the MISSIONS Act.

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A law passed by Congress in 2018 and signed by President Donald Trump allows veterans to be referred by their VA caregiver if they wait too long or if the service is not available at the VA center closest to them.

The joint project with ECU could offer another option for dental-ineligible eastern North Carolina veterans to receive reduced-cost care at the university’s main campus clinic or at various clinics around the state, Tempel told Kern in an email. last week.

Kern talked about the potential of the business while showing off the clinic at the downtown Greenville VA.

Dental Care For Disabled Veterans

In one room, a special mechanical lift helps transfer a veteran from a wheelchair to a dental chair.

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In one exam room, Kern walked over to the sink and pressed his knees to the cabinet below, demonstrating how he could turn on the water without touching the faucet to protect his hands from possible contamination.

Darlene Lang is one of two hygienists who provide dental care to veterinarians at the VA Health Care Center in Greenville, North Carolina. Photo: Anne Blythe.

Because the clinic is downtown, they follow hospital standards, Kern said, explaining the stricter sterilization standards for equipment and labs.

All equipment is washed and sterilized after each patient, then wrapped and placed in a special room for temperature measurement. At least once the temperature gauge in the room went off, the alarm went off, and all the equipment inside had to be washed and sterilized again.

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Kern entered the Navy after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dentistry and graduating from the VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia. There he met many veterans with interesting stories and signed for the Navy for three and a half years.

He then worked in private practice, served as an adjunct professor at his alma mater and was director of dental services at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, before coming to North Carolina in 2014 to lead the VA clinic.

Most of the oral problems Kern and his colleagues see in the eight-room clinic are cavities. Two employed hygienists perform cleaning and other preventive care.

Dental Care For Disabled Veterans

Tempel has already contacted an ECU student about setting up an oral health information display at the VA to educate veterans and patients about proper hygiene and nutrition.

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Kern and his colleagues have taken steps toward the initiative. They recently began the application process to become volunteer adjunct instructors and try to obtain a position that would allow them to supervise dental school students at a VA clinic or campus clinic.

“I would also like to point out that as an adjunct faculty member you will help educate our students as well as oversee the ECU resources available to you with the latest advances in science,” Tempel wrote in an email to Kern. “We appreciate the teamwork between the VA and ECU, we love taking care of veterans, and this teamwork can be an example to others.”

Kern said that the timeline a

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