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Veteran Dentist Providing Free Care To Brothers, Sisters In Arms



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National Guard Captain and Army Dental Officer Sean Lee, DDS, MOS is inviting his brothers and sisters in arms for a free dental exam and no-cost treatment on Veterans Day, November 11.

Lee told The Newtown Bee that he is proud to be a member of the armed services, and in his capacity as a medical practitioner, he has assisted countless other active and retired military members. This is the first time he is opening his Church Hill Road Smile Dentistry office for this type of clinic.

“It’s my belief that no matter who you are, or what you do, everyone is entitled to the best quality and standard of dental care we can provide,” Lee said.

“We know that those who serve in the military are among a group that is higher risk for dental issues either because they lack resources to cover the cost, or they endure worsening dental issues and related pain because that is something they are accustomed to doing — especially our older Vietnam- and Korean-era soldiers,” he said.

Lee said that he sees too many veterans who have endured periodontitis — a progressive gum disease that forces many patients prematurely into a full set of dentures — when the issue may have been corrected earlier, saving them from having to lose all their teeth. Even worse, he has seen veterans with damage or abscesses that have advanced to the point where they can be life threatening.

“Sadly, it’s just a lack of routine care,” he said. “If you don’t catch and correct things early, before you know it, it’s a lot of work to fix everything. And once you start experiencing pain, that means things have probably gone too far.”

So he and fellow practitioner Dr Brad Pinkos, along with the entire Newtown Smile team, are planning to treat as many vets as they can — by appointment, of course — on November 11, and for a limited period of time afterward, if necessary, based on what they find during their exams.

Qualified veterans’ family members may also be provided treatment.

Lee, who is also a member of the American Legion Post 202 said of the veterans, “You have given so much for us, now let us give back to you.”

“I know some folks are also apprehensive about dentistry, including a war survivor I knew who had bad memories that were triggered by the sounds in the office,” he said. Lee said patients are typically pleased that he has all electric motor treatment equipment that is muted, and he and Dr Pinkos are also expert at dealing with folks who are averse to needles.

Lee said he got the idea to do something more for veterans this year, after being asked by First Selectman Dan Rosenthal to speak at a Newtown High School Veterans Day activities last year.

“This is our first event, so I don’t have a feel for the number of patients we can serve — but I’m hoping to pre-screen each visitor so we can maximize all the work we can do on November 11 and the morning of the 12th, if we can’t complete all the work we need to do on Veterans Day,” Lee said. “We’re prepared to treat as many patients as we can.”

All services are being provided at the Newtown Smile Dentistry offices at 34 Church Hill Road. Veterans or family members should contact Jasmine or Lindsay at 203-426-3310 or via e-mail at info@newtownsmile.com for an appointment.

Dr. Sean Lee
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