PORTLAND, Maine — Just one day removed from Veterans Day, the University of New England is paying tribute to those who served our country. The University's dental hygiene program is offering discounted dental care to veterans for just $20.
The services are conducted by UNE dental hygiene students and overseen by school staff and dentists. It's providing care to many veterans who may not have access to dental insurance.
"I found very little dental resources for veterans," said David Barber.
Barber served in the Navy during the 1990's. He receives medical insurance through the Department of Veteran Affairs, but says he does not have dental care included.
"I needed a new tooth, and the estimate was for $5,000. And from there I wanted to see what was available for veterans," said Barber.
Tonight at UNE, Barber was hoping to provide cleanings to others like him that do not qualify for dental insurance through VA benefits.
"Offers like this are really helpful to keep my dental health in check," said Air Force veteran Brenda Fizur.
UNE offered 10 spaces to veterans for Tuesday's clinic. It doubled as an opportunity for students in the program to receive hands on experience while giving back to Maine's veterans.
There will two more dental clinics offered at UNE for veterans. One November 12, and another on November 19. Both of which take place at 5:30 p.m. To schedule an appointment, reach out to the University at (207) 221-4900.
"We're able to attract patients for our students because we offer affordable care," said Marji Harmer-Beem, the dental hygiene program director at UNE.
It also fit into Barber's mission, which is to provide proper dental services for all Maine veterans. He came to the university with the idea for a dental clinic and UNE jumped at the chance to offer discounted care.
Barber has also been working with Maine's congressional delegation to provide increased and improved dental insurance for all veterans.