An Air Force Vet Gets a New Smile


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An Air Force Vet Gets a New Smile

At Hill & Ioppolo Oral and Facial Surgeons of Lubbock, it’s important to our team to take the time to give back to the community that supports us. We have a passion for charity and are always looking for ways that we can help out and make a difference. To learn more about some of our programs, partnerships, and events, browse the pages below. You will find more information, pictures from events and announcements, and a sampling of some of our news coverage.

Fox34 | Sep 20, 2017
Smiles for Soldiers to offer free full dental restoration to one lucky applicant
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal | Nov 10, 2017
Retired Lubbock airman gets new smile for Veterans Day
KCBD | July 25, 2018
Lubbock Air Force veteran shows off his new smile
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal | May 25, 2018
Lubbock Vietnam-era veteran closing journey to new smile

About Program

The first application period ran from September 12, 2017, to October 12, 2017. Most of the 25 applicants had seen battle. Their poor oral health was a constant reminder of their trials and tribulations on the battlefield. Most of the program applicants couldn’t get complete health coverage by the Veterans Administration and were left with empty holes and makeshift fillings in their mouths.

Dr. Ioppolo is a veteran himself. His own military service heavily influenced his decision to start the Smiles For Soldiers program and help local heroes right here in Lubbock, TX. He completed his dental and oral surgery training through the Army Health Professions Scholarship Program and served nine years of active-duty service and four years in the Army Reserves.

On November 10, 2017, the final recipient of the Smiles For Soldiers program was announced at our practice, and Charles Martin started his journey toward a new smile. Mayor Dan Pope attended and spoke of the importance of programs like Smiles For Soldiers in the community. Dr. Ioppolo spoke of his own military experience and the honor he felt being able to give back to fellow veterans.

Charles, 69, of Wilson, TX, served in the Air Force for seven years as an aircraft mechanic. He repaired and inspected many types of Air Force planes, even living abroad for almost two years at Okinawa Air Force base in Japan. After serving in the Air Force, Charles settled down in the Lubbock, TX, area, where he raised three children with his wife. Now as a grandfather of 11, Charles wants to smile for his grandkids. Before his oral surgical treatment began, Charles’ teeth had been breaking and falling out due to genetics and age. His grandkids noticed that their grandfather didn’t smile much, and Charles was dealing with sharp shooting pains in his mouth because of his broken and missing teeth. Having this procedure meant a pain-free smile for Charles and a chance to be a positive influence in his grandchildren’s lives.

Dr. Ioppolo partnered with Dr. Robert Grimes of Grimes & Simek Dentistry, Darrel Clark from Clark Implant Solutions, and Jennifer Spicer from Nobel Biocare to provide a brand-new smile to Charles. All participating parties are honored to be able to help Charles reclaim his life and confidence.

Stay updated on Charles’ progress on our Facebook page.

Meet Gregory A., Our Smiles For Soldiers Recipient!

The team at Hill & Ioppolo Oral & Dental Implant Surgery of Lubbock is pleased to announce the recipient of our second annual Smiles For Soldiers program — Gregory A. Dozens of people applied for the opportunity to receive a brand-new smile through full-arch restoration. The program is designed to give back to veteran or active duty military in the Lubbock area.

Gregory, 67, served as an Army firefighter in Alaska for five years. As a result of PTSD from his service, he has spent years grinding his teeth. Teeth grinding causes damage to the enamel. Long-term teeth grinding can lead to tooth decay and erosion. As a result of severe tooth loss from grinding, Gregory had all of his teeth removed because he had difficulty eating and was in a lot of pain. Over the past three years, Gregory admits he has lost all of his self-confidence. In recent years, he has limited public interactions and has stopped attending church. The Smiles For Soldiers program will give Gregory the smile and confidence to continue saving lives.

Dr. Robert Ioppolo of Hill & Ioppolo Oral & Dental Implant Surgery of Lubbock is partnering with restorative dentist Dr. Tim Leslie, DDS, Nobel Biocare, and Clark Dental Lab to complete Gregory’s personalized treatment. Dental implants will be used to secure the full-arch prostheses in his mouth. Following the procedure, Gregory will have a full set of permanent, natural-looking teeth and a restored smile.

About the Smiles For Soldiers Program

Our Smiles For Soldiers program is intended to give an honored veteran or active duty member of our community a second chance at life by giving them a brand-new smile. The 2018 Smiles For Soldiers application period ran from September 18 to October 18. Most of our applicants had seen battle, and their poor oral health was a constant reminder of their trials and tribulations on the battlefield. Military service men and women who suffer from severe oral health issues and can’t afford to correct them were invited to apply. Following receipt of the applications, our team narrowed down the applicants through oral examinations and interviews to determine our finalist. Gregory will follow a personalized treatment plan at our practice to receive a complimentary full-arch restoration to replace his broken and decayed teeth!

You can hear more about the program and follow Gregory’s journey by exploring our Facebook Page. Thank you for your interest in the Smiles For Soldiers program!