• Jan 19, 2020
  • 8:17 AM

Dental Program to Assist Northern Nevada Veterans

Adopt Vet Dental Program (AAVD) provides no-cost to low-cost dental care to low-income veterans living in northern Nevada.  A shocking 90% of veterans enrolled at the Reno VA do not qualify for dental care because the requirements are so restrictive and this has resulted in an epidemic of oral health disease among our veterans.

AAVD was started in April 2010 by Founders, Wayne & Linda Haigh, with a passion to help low-income veterans receive dental care when they could not qualify at the VA or afford to see a dentist.  They started by recruiting dentists and specialists in the community to provide pro bono dental care for low incomeveterans. In June 2013, AAVD merged with the Northern Nevada Dental Health Programs, the nonprofit arm of the Northern Nevada Dental Society.

The program is excited to report it currently has 130 community dentists and specialists who volunteer their time and services to provide dental care to low-income veterans.

To date, these dentists and specialists have provided dental care to over 1,000 veterans and donated over $5.3 million dollars in services. To help community dentists with the backlog of veterans waiting for dental care, AAVD now has a one-day a week dental clinic at Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC).

In June 2019, AAVD should have its own dental clinic completed at TMCC and open three days a week to provide more veterans with dental care. The program currently has 150 veterans waiting up to a year for dental care in the program and that number and wait time will be greatly reduced once the new clinic is up and running. Some 98% of all the referrals come from the Reno VA as the program has developed a good relationship with the VA.

While the dental community provides their services pro bono, AAVD is responsible for all the dental lab work (dentures, partials, crowns) and operational costs of the program. AAVD is grateful for the support from the financial community through state funding, grants, donations, and fundraising which has allowed it to continue providing dental care to low-income veterans.

The goal of the program is to help as many low-income veterans as possible, get them out of pain, restore their teeth, give them their smile back, and get them back in the community working and/or volunteering.

To be eligible for the program, a veteran must have at least one-year active service, no dental insurance, be at or below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines, and a resident of Northern Nevada.

Please contact Jim, AAVD Veteran Advocate, at 775-470-8707 to qualify or for more information.