Smiles For Freedom: Dental Care for Veterans
Regular visits to the dentist are not only good for our teeth, but our overall health. But for those without insurance, it is often too pricey. This is the case for many active service members and veterans who's benefits do not cover dental care.
Regular visits to the dentist are not only good for our teeth, but our overall health.
But for those without insurance, it is often too pricey. This is the case for many active service members and veterans who's benefits do not cover dental care.
So, Sala Dentistry in Reno created Smiles for Freedom to help. The 3rd annual event is coming up on September 21st, 2017.
We spoke with a patient from last year’s event, who greets us with a big toothy grin. Cary DeMars says thanks to Smiles for Freedom he got his confidence back. "You know, when you're just keeping your mouth shut and you don't want people to see your non-smile, it's embarrassing," he shares.
DeMars served in Desert Storm for the Marine Corps, but like many vets his benefits do not include dental care. "They crowned a lot of my teeth, they basically over-hauled my whole mouth," says DeMars.
Dr. Todd Sala is passionate about giving back. They've served for our country. I'm trained in a trade, I didn't serve, but I'm so very grateful for them."
The Sala brothers (Todd and Jason) are both dentists and run the practice together, but it was one of their hygienists who came up with the idea to have a day dedicated to serving the military at no charge.
"It's one of the most humbling, heart-warming experiences; to help a veteran smile again says Kandice Simpkins
Simpkins came up with idea three years ago and pitched it to her bosses and now everyone is on board. Once a year the entire team at Sala Family Dentistry volunteers their time and effort and spends a day offering free services for Smiles for Freedom.
DeMars found out about the service when he brought his kids in for a dental appointment. “They said we wanna help you, and I was like, I don’t deserve this, but they said you do."
Since this program began three years ago, Sala Family Dentistry has provided more than $188,000 in free dental care to about 120 vets. And this year, they've expanded the program - in a big way - they've taken it nationwide!
"I'm really excited to say that there are gonna be eight Smiles for Freedom events in 2017 across seven different states in the nation,” says Kandice, who visits the various offices across the U.S. and offers materials and training for those participating.
There are still spots available for the Reno event coming up on September 21st
If you're an active duty service member or vet and would like to receive services through smiles for freedom, you will need to make an appointment
4875 Summit Ridge Dr.
Please contact Kandice@salafamilydentistry.com about scheduling an appointment