Continuing the Family Tradition of Giving to Veterans

Becky O'GuinFeatured News

By Jordan Rutherford, D.D.S
From the 2024 Winter Journal of the Colorado Dental Association

Our brave men and women put their lives on the line to defend the freedoms that our founding fathers gave us.

The best way that I have found to uplift, encourage, thank and bless our veterans is to give them a day of free dentistry in our office! I thank every person who comes in for their service to our country. I make it clear that we receive no outside funding and that my team and I are not getting paid to be here. The astonished look on their faces is always followed by gratitude (and even an occasional tear). The day is voluntary. If a team member doesn’t want to help, they don’t have to be at work that day, but I have found that it draws the team closer together and gets them to buy into a deeper understanding of why we exist — to serve others.

It is a busy day! We see around 30 patients on our free “Veteran’s Dental Day.” We started out doing the free clinic on Veteran’s Day, but we found that many soldiers were glad to see us but sad to miss out on parades and picnics. Now we pick a day that is before or after Veteran’s Day to do our free day of service.

I provide the dentistry that I can complete for them in one day. Denture relining, fillings, cleanings, fluoride treatment and extractions (lots of these). My dad started doing our free Veteran’s Dental Day more than 40 years ago. He retired in 2015 and passed the torch to me. Last year was the first time I provided partials, denture services and crowns as well as things we could complete in a single day. All procedures were started on the free Veteran’s Dental Day and delivered when the lab completed them. I budgeted and saved ahead of time for the lab bill and didn’t regret the decision.

The day leaves me and my team tired but refreshed. The thanks we receive are profound and heartfelt.

Consider making this year your first free Veteran’s Dental Day!