By Jessica Mathews /

A new program aims to help provide free dental care to local veterans.

VINA Community Dental Center is a non-profit outreach facility in Brighton that provides affordable dental care and quality dental education to Livingston County residents with limited finances. It recently announced a partnership with University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry to establish Michigan’s second Victors for Veterans clinic under the direction of Dr. Howard A. Hamerink. The program, funded by the Michigan Dental Association Foundation, provides free dental care and education. It will utilize U of M dental students and faculty to provide free dental care to veterans in the program. To qualify, a person’s income must be 200% or less of the Federal Poverty Line and they must be a resident of one of the following seven counties; Livingston, Genesee, Shiawassee, Washtenaw, Jackson, Ingham and Oakland.

Victors for Veterans begins October 23rd. VINA will host U of M Dental School interns and faculty dentists to provide dental care to veterans twice a month at the clinic. The interns and faculty dentists donate their time to the program. Free services for those registered in the clinic include full exams, extractions and oral surgery, root canals, fillings, dentures, crowns, bridges and more. The program will also refer patients to specialists, as needed, for specialty procedures donated by U of M School of Dentistry and local dental specialists.

More information about the program can be found in the attached press release.