Clinic offers veterans free dental cleanings

Local News

MATTOON, Ill. (WCIA) — The dental hygiene program at Lake Land College is offering free dental care to military veterans all November for Veterans Appreciation Month. 

This is a busy month at Lake Land’s dental hygiene clinic according to Director Deborah Thomason. “Since we’ve opened up the veterans appreciation month, our chairs are full. A lot of those are filled with veterans, and they’ve really expressed their appreciation for what we’re doing here. Students supervised by dentists are serving veterans by doing cleanings, exams, and x-ray for free. 

Thomason said there were not any veterans’ appointments Monday, but they saw several Thursday and Friday. “We’ve seen at least 8 to 10 this month.” Student Kate Spiller cleaned a Navy veteran’s teeth last week. “He just had a smile the whole time.” She says he waited all year to come to the clinic’s annual appreciation event.

The college does it every year for two weeks in November. This year, it is a whole month. “We decided to expand it because we know we have need in the community. I know the vets appreciate it, they call us and say whens your vet appreciation,” said Thomason. It’s something students like Spiller look forward to every year too. “I feel awesome. My grandfather was a veteran in world war 2, and it makes me feel awesome that we can give back to those people who sacrificed too much.”

Officials say they’re offering free cleanings, exams and x-rays for veterans. They can call (217) 234-5249 to make an appointment. The Mattoon clinic is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., as well as Wednesday from noon to 8 p.m.

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