November 11, 2016
In honor Veterans Appreciation Week, University of the Pacific's Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry provided free dental check-ups to nearly 30 military veterans throughout the week of Nov. 7 - 11 at events held in San Francisco and Union City, Calif. This is the fifth year in a row that the school has organized these special events to support the local veteran community.
At the dental school's San Francisco clinic, veterans showed up for the event held between 9:30am and 1:00pm on Thurs., Nov. 10. Faculty, staff and student volunteers provided care and managed the check-in process and paperwork. As part of the dental check-up, attendees received a free dental screening, blood pressure check, oral cancer screening and a health gift bag with toothbrush and other dental items.
Volunteers also explained details of an ongoing, reduced-fee dental services program for military veterans. The program offers reduced-fee services at the Denti-Cal rate (often up to 30-40% off the typical rate of a private dental practice). Comprehensive dental care is provided by dental students and residents under the supervision of faculty. Care includes check-ups, cleanings, fillings, scaling and root planning, removable partial dentures, crowns, endodontic procedures, dental implants and more.
At the Union City Dental Care Center, an East Bay dental clinic affiliated with the Dugoni School, volunteers also provided free dental checkups throughout the week to local veterans. The Union City clinic is home to residents in the school's Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) program and offers a wide range of care to members of the public.
One of the new aspects of this year's outreach was involvement by the school's Employee Volunteer Opportunities Committee (EVOC) at the San Francisco event. Volunteers staffed a hospitality room with snacks, beverages, health information, gift bags and other information for the attendees.
"We were honored to support these veterans who have given so much to their country by offering them this special opportunity to learn more about their oral health and get their questions answered," said Dr. Des Gallagher, assistant professor and group practice leader in the Department of Dental Practice and Community Service, who was one of the faculty volunteers for the event.
Veterans Appreciation Week is celebrated in California during the second week of November each year. It brings together communities, businesses, government, health organizations and other groups to show support for veterans and families of veterans. The dental school's free dental checkup program is one of many such appreciation events that took place in November throughout the state.