EDWARDSVILLE – Registration is now open for the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine’s (SDM) third annual Veteran’s Care Day being held Thursday, Nov. 12 at its main clinic in Building 263, 2800 College Ave. in Alton.
Appointments are required for the event, which provides free dental services to veterans. To register, call Holly at 618-474-7200.
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“We are excited to bring this opportunity to our community and show our gratitude for veterans’ service,” said SIU SDM Director of Community Dentistry Katie Kosten, DMD. “We know that a lot of veterans don’t have access to extensive dental care, and some don’t have access to any dental care. There is a large need that goes underserved. We at the SIU School of Dental Medicine are proud to offer our services to benefit as many veterans as possible.”
In 2019, Philip O’Connor, of Alton, benefitted from the dental care he received during Veteran’s Care Day.
“I was quite impressed by the day’s set up, and the friendly and professional attitude of the staff and students,” said O’Connor, who served in the Naval Reserve for 21 years, including a deployment via Operation Iraqi Freedom. “I had a wonderful experience. The providers are not there to cause you any pain, so veterans can leave their stress at the door and be comfortable at the School of Dental Medicine. There are not that many opportunities like this for veterans. I am grateful to the School for offering this special day.”
During the past two Veteran’s Care Day events, the SDM has provided a combined nearly $60,000 in free dental care. Services include, but are not limited to cleanings, x-rays, fillings and extractions.
The SIU School of Dental Medicine students manage approximately 35,000 patient visits each year at its patient clinics in Alton and East St. Louis. In addition, students offer oral health treatment, screenings and education to more than 10,000 people annually through a wide variety of off-campus community outreach events. These opportunities provide students the training they need to graduate and become highly skilled dentists. The School of Dental Medicine is a vital oral health care provider for residents of southern and central Illinois, and the St. Louis metropolitan region.