Dentist donates dentures to veteran denied by VA

Inspired by an article on, Affordable Care is providing free dentures to a Korean War veteran who was denied treatment by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

"Our organization was so moved by the article and Mr. Nielson's plight that we contacted Mr. Nielson and he will be receiving a free set of custom dentures through Dr. Kevin Givens, our affiliated practice owner in Tucson, AZ," wrote Kelly B. Patterson, an Affordable Care vice president, in an e-mail to

Military dentists removed all of Thomas M. Nielson's teeth in 1952 and 1953 while he was serving in the U.S. Air Force and provided him with dentures. The VA denied Nielson's claim for a new set of dentures in 1991 because the extractions were not "due to combat wounds or other service trauma."

Nielson sued, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled on June 7, 2010, in favor of the VA.

Dr. Givens is one of 155 affiliated practice owners in 37 states who operate Affordable Dentures dental practices, Patterson said. The practices provide dentures, extractions, and implants.

"Most patients can receive a partial or full denture the same day they arrive for treatment," Patterson said. "The practices serve primarily low-income and elderly patients, and we are in the process of working with the VA to try and improve denture services for our nation's veterans."

Copyright © 2010

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