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Launched in 2010, the Adopt a Vet Dental Program (AAVD) provides pro bono dental care to Northern Nevada’s low-income veterans who are in critical need. Although most of these veterans fought bravely for us in the front lines, they do not qualify for treatment at the VA Dental Clinic. What’s more, they do not have dental insurance, and average a humble income of $900 a month. AAVD merged with Northern Nevada Dental Health Program in 2013 with the goal of combining our efforts and continuing to improve the lives of veterans in need of dental care. In the four years of our programs existence, we have helped over 325 Veterans, receiving over $1 Million in dental care services by our pro bono providers.
Why don’t these veterans go to the VA Dental Clinic?
VA Dental policies are so restrictive, only about 5% of our local veterans qualify for care. With over 30,000 local veterans this leaves a shocking majority of them without dental care.
Who does the Adopt a Vet Dental Program benefit?
The goal of our program is to help low-income veterans who simply cannot afford to see a dentist. Because they lack dental treatment, many face poor overall health, self-esteem issues, or cannot secure work. Most of these veterans do not have a family or support system, which forces them to rely on help from their community.
Who else is involved?
Local dentists, oral surgeons and other specialists regularly donate their services to AAVD. In addition, several major labs help subsidize or completely cover the lab expenses associated with the veteran’s treatment.