This Veterans Day, Dental Lifeline Network is proud to honor and support veterans with special needs through its “Will You See One Vet” program. Through this program, DLN encourages dentists nationwide to volunteer and provide care to veterans in their own communities. From clearing up painful dental infections to being able to eat normally again – providing comprehensive dental care will make a tremendous difference for veterans.
The “Will You See One Vet” program was launched in 2018 and since its inception, has helped over 2,500 veterans receive over $12 million in donated treatment. Currently, only 3% of veterans are able to receive dental care through the Veteran’s Administration leaving an overwhelming amount of vets who are in desperate need of dental care.
One Army veteran who received care through the “Will You See One Vet” program is 54-year-old Gerald. Due to his time in the army, Gerald developed mental and physical health issues. Gerald hadn’t been to a dentist in more than 10 years and many of his teeth had become significantly decayed, causing him constant pain and making it hard to chew properly. Although his physician urged him to seek help, Gerald was unable to afford the dental care he needed. Thankfully, a generous DLN volunteer, Dr. Steve Gorman, came to his aid.
Dr. Gorman restored 19 teeth and provided four deep cleanings. Thanks to Dr. Gorman’s volunteerism, Gerald was able to receive thousands of dollars in life-changing treatment and an invaluable boost to his confidence.
“I smile more. I used to cover my mouth when I smiled or I never would smile. [Now] I feel more comfortable in my appearance,” said Gerald. “I’d like to thank Dr. G and everybody for their time and effort that they put into making me a new person. People look at me and give me a double look because they see that I’m happy. Now I can go the rest of my life with a good smile.”
Lack of dental care can lead to the inability to have life-changing surgery, eat again or contribute to the community. For many of these veterans, volunteer dental professionals are their only hope. Through the Will You See One Vet campaign, DLN hopes to expand its network of dentists and their teams to volunteer to see ONE veteran with special needs one time per year.
If you are a general dentist or specialist and have not yet signed up, getting involved with DLN’s Will You See One Vet campaign is easy. You can become a volunteer and donate your services or you can make a direct donation to DLN.