CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Doctors say when someone is missing teeth, especially a veteran or military personnel, it can really affect a person’s well-being.
“You start to see people become secluded in their families and their communities because of their oral health,” Dr. Hunter Dawson said.
That's why Prosthodontists like Hunter Dawson at Carolinas Center for Oral and Facial Surgery in Charlotte have initiated a program called Smiles for Soldiers.
The program will give a complete dental makeover valued at $50,000 to one veteran or active-duty personnel — free of charge.
“A replacement of teeth with dental implants in a permanent natural fully functional way a lot of times in one outpatient procedure,” Dr. Dawson said.
The Smiles for Soldiers program is hoping to make dental care accessible for veterans that don't otherwise qualify for it, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
According to Carolinas Oral Surgery, 94% of veterans don’t qualify for dental care. Program leaders said they feel dental care should not be a war that veterans have to fight.
“Many of these patients they’re missing teeth, have decaying teeth, broken teeth or maybe they’ve been without teeth for an extremely long period of time,” Dr. Dawson said. “This procedure not only improves oral health but you’ll see the self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as their overall physical health, improve with this procedure.”
Candidates will be filtered down to 40 applicants and will be considered based on the overall severity of their condition.