BENNINGTON — Two local dentists have found a way to give back to their community, by, for one day, providing their services for free to a group that is far too often forgotten.
Betsy and Tyler Carmack, who operate the Bennington Dental Center at 219 River Street in Bennington, and the Shaftsbury Dental Center at 677 Route 7A in Shaftsbury, are opening their doors to veterans. On May 13, beginning at 8 a.m. at the Bennington Dental Center, the first 50 veterans who arrive will be able to have dental work done free of charge. The services offered will include exams, cleanings, fillings, cancer screenings, extractions, and anything that can be done in a single visit, Tyler explained.
"We saw the need in the community," he said, "If they are willing to die for us and give us our freedom, we feel this is a way that we can give back."
There will be a barbecue and live music at the dental center, for veterans who are waiting in line.
This is not the first time the husband and wife team have given back to the community. Tyler is currently the dentist in charge of the dental program at Mount Anthony Union Middle School, which kicked off earlier this year. He works with dental hygienist Mary-Lou Chicote to screen students and recommend at-risk students to local dentists. Starting last year, the Bennington Dental Center brought a mobile anesthesiologist in periodically, to treat children who are too anxious to have their teeth looked at. The next nearest dental facility with an anesthesiologist, said Carmack, is over an hour away, and if a child's insurance is not accepted at that location, the family would have to drive over three hours for dental care.
"These men and women deserve it, and it's been a long time coming," said Tyler, "We're a part of this community, and we love our community, and we want to give back to our community."
For more information, call the Bennington Dental Center at 802-442-9500.
Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.