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JBLM dentist supports Dental foundation’s day of dentistry

The Pierce County Dental Foundation’s A Day for Smiles provides an opportunity to help fund programs that help Pierce County residents. Photo credit: Pierce County Dental Foundation

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Dental care is essential not only to good health but to a good smile. To underscore this fact, the Pierce County Dental Foundation (PCDF) is holding its inaugural A Day for Smiles Sept. 17-21.

Since 2003, the PCDF has supported nonprofit organizations dedicated to providing access to dental care and education.

The foundation has created an endowment fund that will help sustain critical dental health programs and provide financial support to dental professionals. During the middle week of September, dentists can donate a day of dentistry to the endowment fund.

"This event is awesome because dentists have joined together to work for a common goal," Cheryl Jenkins, executive director of the Pierce County Dental Society, explained. "The goal is to make this an annual event until $1,000,000 is raised for the endowment in order to create a lasting legacy for improved oral health in Pierce County."

One of the dentists connected to helping reach the endowment goal is Dr. Stephen Hannon, who served as an Army dentist for over 22 years. Part of his desire to serve as a dentist began in LaPorte, Indiana, while his father served in Vietnam.

"My mom took us to her old dentist in a nearby farm town," Hannon recalled. "I really enjoyed the experience and the autonomy of the dental practice; many of my relatives went to him and proudly displayed his work with their smiles."

After leaving the Army and practicing in a civilian group practice, Hannon returned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord as a civil servant.

"I felt that it was important to serve," Hannon said. "But then, too, I had won a four-year ROTC scholarship for college and that helped me make up my mind, too."

He notes that his practice both on active-duty and as a civil servant is centered on soldiers.

"Dental health is a major component of Soldier Readiness, so the work is very gratifying," continued Hannon.

The sense of serving also carried over into his participation as a member of the Board of Directors for the Pierce County Dental Society and its work with the foundation. Dr. Hannon's commitment to the foundation's desire to fund critical dental programs is unwavering to help those in need.

"I think in terms of social justice and the unequal distribution of resources," he explained, "and in a world of such terrible extremes in wealth and poverty, I think of justice as it relates to taking care of those who don't really have much."

For more information about, or to register for A Day of Smiles, visit

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