Local dentist provides free service for veterans

10 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Saturday, June 24 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 2:29:00 PM CDT June 24, 2017 in News
By: Ian Nickens, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – Aspen Dental provided veterans with free services in mid-Missouri and across the U.S. Saturday for the Aspen Day of Service.

This is only the fourth annual Day of Service, but according to a press release from Aspen, it has performed nearly $8 million in free dental work for 12,000 patients in that time.

Aspen Dental in Columbia is normally closed on Saturday, but it made an exception for the sole purpose of letting veterans come in for free service.

Between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Aspen served 15 veterans.

Office Manager Trista Johnson said that’s the average number of veterans Aspen will serve in each in of its roughly 450 locations. Everything Aspen offered today was free, but the services had a time limit.

“For each veteran, we are giving them what we can in 30 minutes,” Johnson said. “Most of the time, it’s an extraction or a filling… there are some things we can’t do the same day, so we will have them come back at later days, if we couldn’t do something for them today.”

Dental coverage can be a problem for veterans. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs provides dental coverage, but only for veterans who are completely disabled, were prisoners of war or have a service-related dental injury. Other than that, veterans can receive dental care until a specific condition is cured or they can receive one treatment if they sign up within 180 days of ending service. That leaves millions of veterans without dental care.

“I missed my dental appointments because I was too short of time in the service, so I had to do my own dentistry,” Veteran Ramon Pagni said. “[The VA] replaced my hips, they take my blood pressure, they do everything, almost, for you. I have no complaints about the veterans’ hospital here.”

The VA just doesn’t provide dental for Pagni. He has to pay for that on his own and it’s expensive. He said that eventually he wasn’t able to afford some of the work he needed for his mouth.

“I had gone to a dentist and he looked at my mouth and he wanted, for one thing they did today, he wanted almost a thousand dollars,” Pagni said. “Where the [expletive] am I going to get a thousand dollars for a tooth to fill? [Aspen] did all this for nothing.”

Pagni is one of the veterans who was only able to get part of a procedure done with the time he had. However, one lucky veteran at each Aspen location will be selected to receive the rest of their procedure for free. The staff will decide who wins after the day is over.

More News

Grid
List
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that President Donald Trump is violating the First Amendment when he... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 7:10:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal district court in St. Louis has ruled that the Missouri prison system must... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:48:22 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
MID-MISSOURI - If you look at the forecast you can easily tell that summer is here early. Don't forget that... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:43:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in Weather
(CNN) - NFL players must stand during the National Anthem this season, team owners decided Wednesday, a reaction to fierce... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:36:38 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - Cole County deputies say a man accused of having pipe bombs was cooperative when they asked to... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:54:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
HALLSVILLE - The NRA Bianchi Cup happens every year in Missouri, however this year, embattled Gov. Eric Greitens made an... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:40:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department wants feedback from residents on its community policing initiative. A meeting Wednesday gave people... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:25:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The House Special Investigative Committee continued reading the transcript of the testimony of the woman involved in... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:12:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A revision to Missouri's amateur sports tax credit program could bring more sporting events to Mid-Missouri. The... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:04:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
CALIFORNIA - The Moniteau County prosecutor filed criminal charges against the former California police chief Wednesday. Former police chief... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 2:15:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A top official at Missouri's Department of Public Safety had a potential conflict of interest when... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 2:11:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK- Businesses in mid-Missouri face a steep choice when it comes to having live entertainment -- lose the music... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 1:53:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A Missouri judge is weighing whether a secretive nonprofit group that supports Gov. Eric Greitens' agenda... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 1:08:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - The Cole County Prosecutor's Office filed charges Wednesday against a man suspected of having pipe bombs and... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 10:30:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson says he will be ready to step up if Gov. Eric... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 9:48:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The city of Columbia will hold the first of seven community policing meetings Wednesday evening. Each meeting is set... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 7:34:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
BOLIVAR (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol says an 87-year-old man died after a small plane he was piloting... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 6:39:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was pulled over Friday while speeding. Spokesman Parker Briden in a... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6:21:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 72°
2am 71°
3am 70°
4am 69°
5am 68°