May 10, 2016

Dental clinics set for community members, vets

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Two upcoming events at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will offer free dental services for community members, including an inaugural event to assist veterans. 

The sixth annual “Give Adults a Smile Day” is July 8 at the SIU Dental Hygiene Clinic, 1365 Douglas Drive, located west of the SIU Arena. The inaugural “Give Veterans a Smile Day” is July 9 at the same location. 

Both events are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments can be made until May 13 by calling 618/453-8826. After that, patients can leave their name and telephone number in a phone message that will be checked periodically. 

Although a waiting list is already in place for “Give Adults a Smile Day,” organizers encourage eligible patients to call as openings may become available. A limited number of openings remain available for the veterans’ dental event. Patients will be seen by appointment only.


Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover both the “Give Adults a Smile Day” and “Give Veterans a Smile Day,” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., July 8 and July 9, respectively, at the SIU Dental Hygiene Clinic. Organizers anticipate 150 to 175 people will receive dental care over the two-day period. For more information, contact Jennifer S. Sherry, associate professor and event coordinator, at 618/967-9424 or by email at


Jennifer S. Sherry, associate professor and event coordinator, said a student came forward with the idea for “Give Veterans a Smile Day.” The purpose of the events is to provide dental services to underserved groups, and Sherry said there are several veterans who do not have dental coverage. 

“We need to take care of those who have given so much for us,” she said. 

Sherry anticipates about 75 appointments each day, with about 50 volunteers – including dental hygiene students and dental hygienists and dentists from the community. In both events, patients 20 and older will receive free dental exams, X-rays and cleanings. Patients must be uninsured or on adult Medicaid and have a financial need.  Veterans who do not have dental insurance are eligible for the July 9 event and must present their veteran’s card. 

For more information, call 618/453-8826. 

More information on the university’s dental hygiene program is available at