Venezuela: ‘Smile Mission’ gives dental care to thousands

Venezuelan health minister Eugenia Sader

The Venezuelan government said its “Smile Mission” social program has provided more than 96,000 adults with free dental care, including 34,600 with dentures, since its creation in 2006, said on October 29.

Health minister Eugenia Sader said the dentures provided by the mission are primarily for people from the poorest sectors. “The Smile Mission helps recover the self-esteem of our patients and of the Venezuelan people”, Sader said. “This is quality free dental attention that the revolutionary government offers to our people in order to guarantee health to them.”

The dentures cost between $340 to $580 in the private sector, said.

The Smile Mission began in June 2006 when a group of dentists from Tachira state presented a proposal to President Hugo Chavez for a project that would largely benefit senior people from the poorest sectors and provide them with dental prostheses.

Venezuelans can also receive free basic dental care, such as cleaning and fillings, through the health mission Barrio Adentro.

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