March 21, 2023

Free dental care obtainable to veterans with Operation Stand Down

Operation Stand Down is coming to Fort Smith, permitting veterans to obtain free dental care simply in time for Veterans Day. It’s a part of a program that started 10 years in the past and this yr will embody eight dentists in Fort Smith.

In 2012, Dr. Daniel Fridh, primarily based in La Porte, Ind., seen a pattern of uncared for mouths amongst his ex-military sufferers, he knew one thing needed to be executed. A veteran, who served within the Air Drive for 3 years, and carried out his dental residency there, Fridh understood the calls for on navy women and men.

So, he helped launch Operation Stand Down, a program designed to supply veterans a free dental examination and free or lowered followup providers. The preliminary program concerned the participation of twenty-two volunteer dentists, served 90 veterans, and supplied $150,000 value of providers.

This yr, Dr. Charles Liggett has joined forces with this system to supply veterans free tooth cleanings and extractions on Thursday (Nov. 10). Although that is Liggett’s first time to assist with Operation Stand Down, supplied by means of the Worldwide School of Dentists (ICD), it isn’t his first time to volunteer his time and sources to free dental clinics. He based the Weekend Dental Clinic and the Free Extraction Day to offer these in want with free or inexpensive dental care, his web site states. The thought for the tasks stemmed from his dental mission journeys to Jamaica.

“I attempt to give again each time I can. … In 2023, I might be making my twenty first journey to Jamaica to supply free extractions. However that is one thing I can do to assist our veterans,” Liggett stated.

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Dr. Charles Liggett

With the addition of River Valley Smiles at 8309 Phoenix Ave., the place Liggett practices dentistry, Fort Smith will be a part of 5 different cities in Arkansas to supply this system to space veterans. There might be eight dentists serving to with the operation at River Valley Smiles, together with all of the hygienists and dental assistants from the workplace. They are going to be assisted by College of Arkansas at Fort Smith dental hygiene college students, Liggett stated.

Although this yr’s providers might be restricted to cleanings and extractions, Liggett stated they may have the ability to develop these providers sooner or later.

Veterans wanting the service should contact the native Veterans Administration (VA) and make an appointment by means of them. No appointments might be obtainable by calling Liggett’s workplace straight.