Mayville, NY (September 5, 2017) – Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I- 57th District), a strong advocate for expanding rural access to dental care and a supporter of UB’s mobile dental van initiative, kicked off five days of free dental care for veterans at the Mayville VFW by welcoming the University of Buffalo’s “S-Miles To Go” Dental Van on Tuesday. The van will be on site at the VFW from September 5 – 8 and the 11th, providing a range of free oral health care services to veterans, including cleanings, fillings and extractions.
“The UB’s mobile dental van fills an urgent need in our rural communities by bringing quality care to areas with limited access to dental services,” said Senator Young. “I’ve been a steadfast supporter of this initiative, realizing that poor oral health can place people at risk for serious, long-term health problems. I have been proud to work with the University at Buffalo to deliver for our community. I am pleased their outreach is expanding to our deserving veterans.”
In this year’s 2017-18 state budget, Senator Young secured $250,000 for services and expenses associated with the “S-Miles To Go Dental Van,” building on her strong record of support for the program. In total, the Senator has secured $871,000 in state budget funds for the program since 2015 – crucial funding which has enabled the delivery of dental health care to rural populations in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties.
The mobile unit is outfitted with three dental chairs, an X-ray imaging machine, a sanitization center and more. Led by the UB School of Dental Medicine, the program aims to deliver access to oral health care to underserved areas while also serving as an opportunity to train dental students and introduce them to the challenges faced by patients who lack access to dental care.
The funding also allowed the program to introduce smaller portable dental units that are used to conduct exams and provide preventative care at locations that cannot accommodate the larger van. The portable equipment allows the mobile dentist office to deliver even greater services to those who lack dental care.
Any veterans interested in the free dental services through the mobile dental van are encouraged to contact Sarah Bemis at (716) 397-2640. Space is limited to 100 participants.