LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) - Dr. Robert Ioppolo of Hill & Ioppolo Oral & Facial Surgery launches his third annual Smiles For Soldiers program that will provide a veteran or active soldier in the Lubbock community with a brand-new smile through the full-arch restoration treatment, a $50,000 procedure, completely free of charge. The city of Lubbock is home to over 15,000 veterans and in fact, Texas is amongst one of the top three states in the country with the largest population of veterans with nearly 1,500,000 men and women who have risked their lives to fight for our country. Texas also polls in as the second most populated state with active duty and reserve members of the military. The charitable Smiles For Soldiers program is designed to help restore an individual’s quality of life and is also aimed towards locals who do not have the means to pay for the extensive procedure.
Dr. Ioppolo’s service in the military sparked the idea to implement the successful third year running the program to help local heroes in the Lubbock community. He completed his dental and oral surgery training through the Army Health Professionals Scholarship Program, and served nine years of active-duty, followed by four years in the Army reserves.
“We look forward to running the Smiles For Soldiers program every year,” said Dr. Robert Ioppolo. “Some of the veterans and active soldiers that we interview, have been through a tremendous amount in their lifetime – some suffering from illnesses such as PTSD. This program will not only provide the recipient with a new set of teeth but also an increase in their quality of life.”
The final recipient will receive a complete full-arch restoration treatment. The procedure uses dental implants to provide a foundation for permanent dentures that look, feel and function like natural teeth. Hill & loppolo Oral and Facial Surgeons of Lubbock will collaborate with Nobel Biocare Dental Implant Manufacturer to complete the full procedure and give the recipient a smile they deserve.
No one knows how impactful the Smiles For Soldiers program is more than our 2018 veteran recipient Gregory Arriaga. Gregory served five years in the Army as a firefighter in Alaska and now lives with PTSD as he copes with life off of the battlefield. This caused him to unconsciously grind his teeth, gradually wearing off the enamel and eventually needing a full-mouth extraction. Gregory admits that he had lost his self-confidence after all his teeth were extracted. After the extractions, he began refusing to attend family functions and stopped going to church. Since receiving his final restoration procedure last December, Gregory no longer feels secluded in his daily life and can show his smile to the world without feeling judged.