A rewarding Day of Service

Published 10:28 am Monday, June 18, 2018

On June 9, Aspen Dental in Middlesboro held their Day of Service event — which was a way to honor the country’s veterans by providing free dental care for veterans who could not receive it through the VA program.

According the official press release, some veterans cannot receive dental coverage unless they qualify as 100 percent disabled, received a mouth injury during duty or were a prisoner of war.

This has led to many veterans having poor dental health.

One local veteran who made an appointment for the Day of Service, Kellis Pierce, wanted to spread the word on just how grateful he was for Aspen Dental’s care. According to him, they went above and beyond in making not just him, but all of the veterans feel welcomed and taken care of.

“They fixed me a complete set of dentures. I was out there mostly all day and they were absolutely wonderful to the veterans. They treated everyone just like family,” said Pierce.

Pierce highlighted the welcoming atmosphere by describing how the office was decorated for the day, and they even offered a variety of refreshments including breakfast foods and drinks.

Pierce stated that he had upper dentures put in around 30 years ago, but he has never had a lower set put in.

“I’ve been without them for 20 years I guess,” he said.

Pierce then recounted what he did as soon as he got his new set of dentures put in. He mentioned how he likes eating nuts, and that he could never really have them due to not having a full set of teeth.

“My family, they all laugh at me because I can’t eat nuts. They’ll sit around and eat nuts in front of me,” he said. “I went straight to the dollar store and got me a big can of cashews, and I didn’t think that would be enough so I got a big jar of honey roasted peanuts,” he said.

Pierce wasn’t aware at the time that he was not supposed to start off eating solid foods like nuts with a new set of dentures. He has to get them refitted to sit more comfortably in his mouth, but he enjoyed being able to eat his peanuts and cashews.

He mentioned that the dentist he told this to “died laughing.”

“They didn’t see anybody up there that Saturday but veterans. They were just super nice. It was heartwarming,” said Pierce.