Smiles for Veterans program returns to Tri-Cities
KENNEWICK, Wash. – Oral Surgeons of the Columbia Basin announced the launch of their annual Smiles for Veterans app.
The chosen candidate receives brand new permanent teeth. They say it’s a procedure that typically costs $50,000, but for that soldier, reservist, or active-duty veteran, it’s totally free.
“With this program, we provide a complete set of teeth that is supported by dental implants. It’s repaired. It’s not removable, very functional and very aesthetic,” said Dr Teeples.
Dr. Tyson Teeples of the Columbia Basin Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons told KAPP-KVEW why this is so important to their practice each year. He said: “Dr. Black, who is one of our surgeons, is a veteran himself. And so we tour working with patients and doing this program, and in discussion with Dr. Black, we have decided to do it because his connection to this demographic was magnificent.
For these veterans, Dr. Teeples said it had life-changing effects. He said: “For patients having the procedure, it’s basically a whole new set of teeth. If you think about eating, think about talking, think about smiling.
Dr Teeples said the Smile Again program was started six years ago, but only in the last two years has he geared it towards veterans.
“The program is for active duty veterans or members of the Armed Forces Reserve who provide such great service to our community. We wanted to give back, so we selected this patient demographic.
He said not only has there been an overwhelming positive response from the community, but also a great response of interest from veterans applying. “To continue this program year after year is something we hope to continue for the long term,” said Dr Teeples.
Apps are open until September 15. There are a few questions and a place to include photos of your teeth.
According to the app, Dr. Teeples said the practice selects a patient who is a good surgical candidate, as well as a patient who hopes to “jump off with new teeth and a new smile.”
READ: Lifetime Dental Care in Richland offers free dental care to veterans
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