UB Dental to offer week of free services to veterans in Southern Tier

Silhouette of soldiers in front of U.S. flag.

Release Date: August 20, 2018

“The response to these veterans’ events has been tremendous, indicating that there is an unmet need in this population.”
New York State Sen. Catharine Young

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine will return to the Southern Tier to provide one week of free dental care to veterans in the area through the Dentistry Smiles on Veterans program.

In honor of the sacrifices made by servicemen and women to the country, the “UB S-Miles to Go” dental van will travel to Mayville, New York, for the second consecutive year to offer dental exams, cleanings, fillings and extractions at no cost.

Dental care will be offered Monday to Friday, Aug. 27-31, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside the Mayville Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post at 10 Memorial Dr., Mayville.

Space is limited to the first 100 participants. To schedule an appointment, contact Sarah Bemis at 716-449-1674.

Dentistry Smiles on Veterans aims to deliver needed services to veterans who lack dental insurance or do not qualify for dental treatment through the Veterans Health Administration, a benefit reserved only for those with service-related dental injuries.

The S-Miles to Go dental van is a 42-foot-long, three-chair dental clinic outfitted with an X-ray imaging machine, a sanitization center and more. The clinic has served the community for more than 15 years, providing more than 38,000 patient visits.

The week-long program is funded through the support of the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation and the Office of New York State Sen. Catharine Young. 

Young has been a champion of the mobile dental program since its inception, securing $1.2 million for the program, including $371,000 in the 2018-19 state budget, over the last four years.

“The abundance of medical research connecting good oral hygiene to overall physical health and longevity grows almost daily. Yet, our rural communities are often ‘dental deserts’ where providers are scarce or nonexistent,” said Young.

“The University at Buffalo’s state-of-the-art mobile dental unit addresses this challenge by going where the need is. Their expertise and commitment to this vital initiative has been extraordinary, which is why I’ve been such a strong supporter and have worked to secure state budget funding once again to expand these critical services.

“Expanding free services to veterans is an extremely important goal and a way to help those who selflessly served and sacrificed for our nation. The response to these veterans’ events has been tremendous, indicating that there is an unmet need in this population.”

Each year, the School of Dental Medicine provides nearly 60,000 Western New York dental patient care visits in its Squire Hall and Erie County Health Mall dental clinics and in its mobile dental unit located in the Southern Tier.

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