Free dentistry offered to veterans Saturday

SYCAMORE – Dr. Bryce Deter will offer his dentistry skills free of charge Saturday to help patients he has a close connection with.

Military veterans are welcome at Sycamore-based Collins Dental Group on Saturday, where they can receive dental services for free. Deter, who served five years as a dental officer for the Navy, said he feels a kinship with veterans he treats.

“It’s almost like treating my brothers and sisters because the one thing I remember in the military is you form a bond that is kind of unique to the military,” he said.

Deter is one of several dentists and about 25 support staff members who plan to provide complimentary dental services to more than 100 military veterans and their immediate family members Saturday. This service is part of an event Collins Dental Group is hosting for a second year to honor veterans in their community and observe Veterans Day on Nov. 11.

Dr. Dennis Collins said about 70 people have confirmed reservations already, and he expects to surpass last year’s turnout, which had close to 100 people and cost $23,000 worth of dental care. It’s the practice’s way of thanking veterans for their sacrifice, and it also energizes the staff, he said.

“After we’re done and the veterans say ‘thank you,’ and we’re able to look them straight in the eye and say, ‘No, thank you,’ that’s a pretty good feeling,” he said.

About a year and half ago, Collins Dental Group staff members were looking for a way to give back to the community, particularly veterans, said Martha Collins, an associate with the company. They decided on free dentistry because that is what they do best, she said.

Collins said she talked with several veterans organizations to generate interest.

“It was such a rousing success for us,” she said. “We got such great feedback from the veterans. … It was inspiring enough to do it again [this] year.”

On Saturday, Collins Dental will provide dental cleanings, examinations, oral cancer screenings, extractions and fillings free of charge, she said. Veterans and their immediate families from the DeKalb County area – the people the staff tend to know and see all the time – are the primary group they want to treat, she said.

The staff has prepared for months by ordering extra supplies, getting the word out to various media outlets and making sure there is plenty of parking.

“And that our staff are mentally geared up for the day but they’re excited about it,” she said. “It’s really rewarding to us.”

If you go
What: Veterans Day free dental services
When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Collins Dental Group, 2025 Aberdeen Court, Sycamore.
For more information, call Collins Dental Group at 815-758-3666.

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