The Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SIU SDM) will provide free dental care to veterans on Thursday, Nov. 14 during its second annual Veteranâ€™s Care Day at the SDMâ€™s main clinic in building 263, 2800 College Ave. in Alton.
â€œAt the SIU SDM, itâ€™s important that we meaningfully demonstrate how appreciative we are of our veteransâ€™ sacrifice and service,â€� said Katie Kosten, DMD, director of Community Dentistry. â€œWe understand that the selflessness of those who serve our country is the exact reason we enjoy our freedoms. We are honored to say thank you to our veterans with the services that the SDM is capable of providing.â€�
A year ago, nearly $22,000 worth of free comprehensive care was provided to 33 patients during the inaugural Veteranâ€™s Care Day. SIU SDM third- and fourth-year dental students, under the supervision of dental school faculty who are all licensed dentists, will provide free exams, x-rays, cleanings, fillings and extractions at no cost.
Reservations for the SIU SDM Veterans Dental Care Day are required and will begin on Monday, Oct. 21 at 9 a.m. Due to the high demand for dental services realized at last yearâ€™s event, appointments will be made available based on reservation order until all appointments are filled. Walk-in appointments will not be available the day of the event.
Contact Valerie Donahue at the SIU SDM at 618-474-7200 to make reservations.
Patients should note that treatment needs will be evaluated and prioritized, and all necessary care may not be able to be provided in this one day. At the conclusion of each appointment, all veterans will have the opportunity to become patients of SIU SDM if they need ongoing care.
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.
Photo: A veteran receives dental care during the 2018 SIU School of Dental Medicineâ€™s Veteranâ€™s Care Day.