AUSTIN (KXAN) — A 42-foot long blue bus offering free dental care was in downtown Austin Tuesday morning.
Aspen Dental’s MouthMobile is the bus-turned-dental-office on wheels. It’s fully staffed with local Aspen Dental dentists and hygienists. The patients they’re looking for? Local veterans, their spouses and caregivers.
Doctor Kimberly Haynes is one of the staff on site in Austin. She has been practicing for eleven years. This is her first time with the MouthMobile.
“I honestly want to be in service of those who have been of service to us. I always jump at the opportunity to help those who have helped us with our freedoms,” Haynes said. “It’s always more meaningful when you can same-day see a patient and see the impact that you have.”
The first patient who came in left an impression on her.
“I was able to see a veteran, and he actually needed dentures. So, we are going ahead and starting that process and he will be leaving … with teeth in his mouth and a new smile,” Haynes said. “I’m excited to do that.”
Jerrod Green, dressed in his uniform, served in the Army six years overseas in Qatar and Israel. He currently works at the National Guard base, Camp Mabry in Austin.
Green candidly mentioned he hasn’t been to the dentist in six to eight months. So after seeing a flyer, he didn’t hesitate to come downtown and receive free dental care.
“I’m overdue,” Green said. “Dental is always a thing that you need, people overlook it so I figured ‘Why not?'”
Green felt honored Aspen Dental is giving back to veterans.
“It’s great … We appreciate the public support. And, of course, anytime you gotta go to the dentist, it’s expensive. So this definitely helps a lot and is good for the community,” Green said. “Just to come out here and get it for free … It’s a blessing.”
He is one many veterans that stopped by in the morning. On-site representatives with Aspen Dental said they usually see around 25 to 30 per stop.
Austin is part of Aspen Dental’s 18-stop, cross-country tour this fall. They’ve partnered with the Texas Fallen Project. Appointments are still available. Veterans can contact Bobby Winthrow at (512) 796-1795 to schedule one. Walk-ins are welcome too. The MouthMobile is located at 308 Guadalupe Street from 9-3 p.m.