SYRACUSE, N.Y., May 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Aspen Dental today announced its fourth annual Day of Service event, which provides free dental care to our nation's veterans, will be held on Saturday, June 24. During the annual event, dentists and teams from nearly 450 Aspen Dental offices will provide free dental care to thousands of veterans.
Like millions of Americans, veterans often do not get the dental care they need due to barriers like cost, fear, access and lack of insurance. Of the 21 million+ veterans across the U.S., fewer than 10 million are enrolled for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health benefits, and more than 1.2 million lack health insurance altogether. The disparity is even more pronounced when it comes to dental care because the VA only provides dental benefits to veterans who are classified as 100% disabled, have been a prisoner of war, or have a service-connected dental condition or disability.
Aspen Dental is working to close this gap through its Healthy Mouth Movement, a community giving initiative that provides free dental care and oral health education to veterans. Since the launch of the Healthy Mouth Movement in 2014, Aspen Dental has provided free care to over 12,000 patients resulting in more than $7.6 million in donated dentistry.
"As a veteran myself, Day of Service has special meaning to me because I've seen firsthand how difficult it is for veterans to access dental care," said Dr. Melissa Thompson, an Aspen Dental practice owner in the Boston area and Massachusetts National Guard veteran. "I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of an organization that is 100% committed to making dentistry easier for our veterans by providing them the care they desperately need."
Stephen Leon is one such veteran who has been touched by the Healthy Mouth Movement. "Before seeing Dr. Thompson, I couldn't even smile without severe pain and discomfort," said Leon, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient who received free care from Dr. Thompson. "I can't even put into words how thankful I am for Dr. Thompson. The treatment she provided changed my life – I don't know how I can ever repay her."
Starting today, veterans can call 1-844-Aspen-HMM to find a participating Aspen Dental office in their community and schedule an appointment during the annual Day of Service on June 24. Advance appointments are required. During the Day of Service, Aspen Dental dentists and teams treat the most urgent needs of each veteran to ensure they are relieved of any dental pain, including anything from fillings and extractions to basic denture repairs. Routine cleanings and exams are also provided.
This year also marks the continuation of Aspen Dental's partnership with Got Your 6, a national veteran's organization that focuses on areas of veteran reintegration, including leadership, health and education. For the past three years, Aspen Dental and Got Your 6 have worked together to drive awareness of the importance of veteran oral health through the Healthy Mouth Movement. Got Your 6 – meaning "I've got your back" – is a collective impact campaign that works to bridge the military-civilian divide.
"Over the past three years, we have partnered with Aspen Dental to not only help veterans break down the barriers they face in accessing dental care -- such as cost and lack of insurance -- but to help raise awareness about the need for oral health care among our population," said Bill Rausch, Iraq War veteran and Executive Director of Got Your 6. "We know that veterans are already problem solvers and civic assets in small towns and big cities across this country. Every veteran we empower by giving him or her a healthy smile means one more person who is more likely to be an outgoing, engaged leader in their community."
In addition to the efforts of local volunteers on the Day of Service, the Healthy Mouth Movement is also reaching veterans through its MouthMobile, a 42-foot mobile dentist office on wheels. The MouthMobile drives directly into veteran communities to provide free care on a nationwide, yearlong tour. It has traveled to over 100 communities over the past three and a half years.
About Aspen Dental Offices
Dentists and staff at Aspen Dental practices are all about making sure patients have easy access to quality, affordable oral health care. With more than 600 offices in 36 states, Aspen Dental-branded practices offer patients a safe, welcoming and judgment-free environment to get the full range of dental care they need along with the convenience and speed of onsite denture labs. That's why the Aspen Dental network of independent dental care providers is one of the largest and fastest growing in the U.S. and saw more than 1.5 million patients in 2016. To find out more about how Aspen Dental practices make it simply easier for each of their patients to get the healthy mouth they deserve, go to AspenDental.com.
About Aspen Dental Management Inc.
Aspen Dental Management Inc. (ADMI) is a dental support organization that provides non-clinical business support services to independently owned and operated dental practices in 35 states. This can include services and recommendations related to finding the right location, leasing, equipment, accounting and marketing. This model leaves independent, licensed practitioners free to concentrate on patient care.
To learn more about Aspen Dental practices and services, preview the Aspen Dental patient experience, get answers to general treatment questions, find a location, and schedule appointments, visit www.aspendental.com. To learn more about careers at ADMI and Aspen Dental practices, visit http://aspendentaljobs.com.
About Got Your 6
Got Your 6 is a collective impact campaign that works to bridge the military-civilian divide. Combining the reach and resources of the entertainment industry with the expertise and commitment from veteran-focused non-profit and government partners, the campaign works to advance the conversation in America so veterans and their families are seen as leaders and civic assets who will invigorate our communities. In 2013 and 2014, Got Your 6 distributed grants totaling over $4 million to their veteran-focused non-profit partners. For more information, visit www.gotyour6.org. Be the Change, Inc., an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, is the organizing body and fiscal sponsor of Got Your 6.
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SOURCE Aspen Dental