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ST. LOUIS–The St. Louis Dental Center welcomed more than 100 vets Saturday morning for free exams and screenings through a partnership with the A.T Still University of Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health and Affinia Healthcare.

It’s the sixth year for the project, funded through private donations, to provide services for veterans who have no insurance or access to care.

“There’s a big gap in healthcare throughout all aspects of it. And so it’s really important to be able to locate veterans who, you know, served us and be able to give back to them,” Rhiannon Pyle, a third year dental school student said.

Providing the care is a comprehensive team of dentists – faculty, staff & supervised dental students – some of whom are veterans themselves…or have veterans in their families.

“I was in the military before I became a dentist, I learned taking care of the troops. This is our way of paying it forward if you will, or paying it back to these guys who at one point – guys and gals I might mention – who have committed in the past with service to our country,” Dr. Herbert Silva, a former Marine and now a dentist, said.

Since the program began, more than 770 veterans in all branches of service and every war have received services.