Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

In Your Corner: Veteran wants to smile again

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Del City, Okla. - Jesse Bishop lives with pain every day.

The marine blew out both knees and broke his back twice.

His mouth is in bad shape too.

“Most of them are decayed right at the gum line,” he says.

Jesse, who is raising his granddaughter, qualifies for healthcare through the VA, but not dental care.

Veterans must be 100% service-related disabled to get free dental work.

Jesse could still buy discounted insurance through the government, but says he can't afford the co-pays.

Wednesday we surprised the Veteran with big news.

Dr. Jay Peck and Dr. John Hong from Redbud Dental in Edmond want to give him dental work, including brand new implants, free of charge.    

“We’ll begin with a thorough exam and x-rays,” Peck says.

It won’t be an overnight fix.

Jesse says he’s thrilled to get started on his treatment.

“Thank y`all very much,” he says. “I really do appreciate it.”

Non-profit, D-Dent, and executive director, Shirley Harris, will help foot the bill for Jesse's implants.

The organization gets volunteer dentists to do free dental work for low-income, uninsured elderly, veterans and disabled.

While there are thousands of success stories, there is a three year waiting list.

“So you can imagine if you`re taking 10 or 15 off your waiting list and getting this many in,” Harris says. “We're never going to be able to help all the people that we need to help without money and the dentists.”

Jesse's treatment should take anywhere from 9 months to a year to complete.

D-Dent is always looking for more volunteer dentists.

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