Local dentist provides free care on Friday to thank veterans

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A Rapid City dentist office dedicated Friday to serving those who have served our nation. Jon Wilson takes you to Orchard Meadows Family Dental to see veterans getting a tune up on their smiles.

Orchard Meadows Family Dental Marketing Director Daniela Stetser says, "We have the capability to give back to them. We realize the sacrifices they've made about not being around their children, and missing holidays, and being overseas, and coming back, and not necessarily feeling comfortable."

Over fifty veterans took the opportunity to get free dental work done Friday compliments of Orchard Meadows Family Dental in Rapid City.

Stetser says, "We're actually offering a free cleaning, a filling, or an extraction for all of our military patients, and we're also offering free oral cancer screenings, which we're really excited about just so people are aware of what's going on in their mouth and be able to take care of any needs that they have."

The idea comes from Freedom Day, as a way to thank America's military. For this dentist office, it's their first time doing something like this. Ed Thomas is one veteran who stopped in. He served in the Air Force for nearly thirteen years in four different locations.

U.S. Air Force Veteran Ed Thomas says, "It's an amazing feeling because they actually give back to the community, and not just on Veterans Day when that day is pretty much dedicated to us. They're doing it completely out of the norm, which helps out a lot of veterans, a lot of people that might not have healthcare or might not have dental care, but they can come in and get a free cleaning, get some information about taking care of their hygiene."

Thomas got two cavities filled and received a fluoride treatment, and says after Friday, he'll be back.

Thomas says, "I'm a big wuss when it comes to needles, so that wasn't good for me, but these guys made me feel very welcomed, and they gained a new patient because of it."

Stetser says, "We want them to know that we appreciate everything that they have done for us and the time that they have put in."