BANGOR, Maine — For some Mainers, regular dental checkups are just too expensive. But a program in Bangor is giving those who have fought for our country, who may struggle to afford a dental visit, something to smile about.
Since September, the University of Maine at Augusta in Bangor has been providing free dental hygiene services to disabled veterans.
“We’ve seen, this semester, over 30 veterans and those 30 veterans received free dental X-rays, free cleanings, and free fluoride treatments," said UMA dental hygiene director Nancy Foster. "It’s a wonderful opportunity for our students because they’re able to meet the veterans, and learn about them, and also get more experience learning how to be a dental hygienist.”
The program is made possible by a $4,000 grant from the Maine Veterans Dental Network.
"The grant is good through December 9, however, we just found out today, that we are able to extend the grant through the end of April 2022," added Foster.
This means the clinic is able to serve about 50 more local disabled veterans, according to Foster.
“There are thousands of veterans here in the state of Maine that are in need of affordable dental services for fillings or cleanings,” she told NEWS CENTER Maine.
To receive the free dental hygiene services, veterans must provide a copy of their DD-214 (discharge papers) to the clinic and grant permission to forward the document to the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services for inclusion in its database. If a veteran does not have a copy of their DD-214, the bureau can assist them in acquiring one by submitting the State of Maine Request Form, which is located on the MVVS website.
To schedule a free dental cleaning, including X-rays and fluoride treatment, eligible veterans may contact the UMA Dental Hygiene Clinic at 207-262-7872 or visit https://www.uma.edu/academics/programs/dental-programs/patient-services/.