Much needed help is on the way for Bay area veterans. A clinic is about to open in New Port Richey that aims to give vets free dental care.
- New Port Richey clinic to give vets free dental care
- Smile Faith opening clinic in New Port Richey
- RELATED: Good News
- For more information, visit smilefaith.org
- You can also call 727-261-1211 or visit the office at 5400 School Road in New Port Richey.
"It's important to give them the best of care because they have given us the best," Tricia Sours, Senior Clinic Administrator, said.
Sours will be running the clinic and said fixing teeth can change veteran's lives.
"People underestimate what dental pain can do for people. How much a smile that is destroyed can take away the self-esteem of a person," Sours said.
Until now, Smile Faith, has been mobile, using a bus to travel to different parts of the country.
The clinic in New Port Richey will give them a permanent place to practice. It has been designed not to look like a dentist office, but as a place that veterans can come to relax or seek counseling.
"Everything that we do is going to have a personal touch. It's important to us to really show them with true genuineness. That they are truly cared for and that they can come to a place where they come and stay for a while, not just for dental work, but to relax," Sours said.
In addition to their new location, Smile Faith will keep the bus they're known for. They will retrofit it to be used all over Florida to get to veterans who can't quite get to New Port Richey.
Dr. Michael O'Carroll said about 95 percent of veterans can't get dental care through the VA.
"Only if you're a veteran that is 100% disabled, former POW, or you had some sort of dental trauma that happened during the service, you're not covered with VA dental benefits," O'Carroll said.
Over the past 8 years, Smile Faith has done about 6 million dollars worth of dental care and they hope the new office will help even more vets.
"Without a smile, they don't have confidence. We want to give them the confidence and let them know we appreciate their service," said Tommie Lane, Smith Faith Founder.
The clinic hopes to be open in the next few weeks. Nearly 100 veterans have already signed up for care.