Veterans' Free Dental Care

It's been 18-months since Douglas Kirby last saw a dentist.

A Navy Veteran, he says because his dental problems aren't service related, the V-A- won't pay for the work.

"Back of one of my front teeth fell off and then I have a filling to be done on the tooth next to it. So they are going to pull one tooth and fill another. If I could afford to even have the one tooth pulled, I'd wait because it's a front tooth. But I don't even have a car," says Kirby

The staff of 18 at Holmes, Mannikko and Beglin say they expect to see about 40-veterans Friday.

Because of time they can't do any elaborate work on their patients--typically just tooth extractions and fillings.

"I've seen 3 or 4 or five guys this morning that have been walking around with tooth aches for over a year, year and a half, infections and that type of stuff. They haven't been able to get care and treatment for it so we are taking care of that kind of stuff. If I can relive an infection it relieves pain and makes their life a little better and more comfortable what way," says Dentist William Holmes.

Most of the patients are from the Viet Nam and Desert Storm Wars, but a handful are World War 2 vets, and one veteran came all the way from Downieville, California.

The dental office worked with the Adot-A-Vet program to get their patients.

The idea for Veterans Dental Day came from the staff itself.

Only only half way through the day the work has been so rewarding they say they'll do it again, next year.


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