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Pasco veterans can get free dental care Friday

Members of the West Pasco Dental Association are providing the service.

NEW PORT RICHEY — Uncle Sam wants you smiling.

The West Pasco Dental Association is offering free dental services to U.S. military veterans in need of care, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at Pasco-Hernando State College’s New Port Richey campus.

The effort is coordinated by U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, and veterans must call his office at 727-232-2921 to sign up. More information is available at https://www.usaveteransmiles.org/projects.

Services offered include: dental cleanings, root canal therapy, tooth extractions and dental fillings.

“These heroes deserve a system of care to ensure their oral health care needs are met. Until that can become a reality, it is our professional privilege to serve this special segment of our community,” Dr. Zack Kalarickal of the West Pasco Dental Association said in a released statement.

Dental care through the Department of Veterans Affairs is limited to veterans who are 100 percent disabled or have a service-connected injury affecting their oral health. Bilirakis has filed a bill to expand veterans’ access to dental care.

“I am very grateful for the generosity of the dentists from the West Pasco Dental Association who are not waiting for a change in law,” said Bilirakis.

Also aiding the event are Pasco-Hernando State College, Digital Brainz, Henry Schein Cares Foundation, Dental Services Group, Colgate, the Florida Veterans Foundation, Hungry Harry’s BBQ and Southern Dental Refining.

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