The Oklahoma Dental Association (ODA) and the University of Oklahoma (OU) College of Dentistry teamed up with Dentists for the Disabled and Elderly in Need of Treatment, Eastern Oklahoma Donated Dental Services, and other organizations from across the state on March 27 to provide essential dental care to Oklahoma veterans.
“As a former Army Reserve member, I have made it my mission during my ODA presidency to plan a free dental care day for Oklahoma veterans,” said Dr. Paul Mullasseril, ODA president and OU College of Dentistry assistant dean for clinical and preclinical education.
“Because of the pandemic, we had to cut the number of patients we could treat, but that didn’t stop us from making a tremendous impact in these veterans’ lives. The hope is to continue this clinic into the future and treat even more veterans who desperately need dental treatment,” Mullasseril said.
“The college is proud of our partnership with the Oklahoma Dental Association and are thrilled to be able to join together to provide free dental care for veterans in need,” said Dr. Raymond A. Cohlmia, dean of the OU College of Dentistry. “These veterans have dedicated their lives to the service of our country, and now it’s our honor to serve them.”
With limited dental benefits provided to veterans, getting the necessary oral healthcare can be difficult, and often, veterans delay urgent needs, OU said. Regular dental appointments are essential in evaluating, diagnosing, preventing, or treating oral diseases, which can affect systemic health, the school continued.
The organizations thank Henry Schein Dental and the Oklahoma Dental Foundation for sponsoring the event and said they are looking forward to serving these veterans and watching the program grow in the years ahead.