ST. LOUIS ( -- Over 100 veterans were given free screenings and exams at the St. Louis Dental Center Saturday morning. 

Franchot Lawless said he hadn't been to the dentist in over a decade before he set foot in Saturday's clinic.

“I don’t do dentists. I guess it’s a phobia kind of, but for some reason I’m very comfortable here," Lawless said.

The Vietnam veteran put his fears aside to get a check up. He also plans to get dentures -- which will not only give him a new smile, but will also improve his quality of life.

"It's been painful for a while," Lawless said.

This was the fifth year for the free dental clinic which is now held three times a year. It was started by a retired dentist and former marine, who saw a need within the community as not all veterans are eligible for dental care through the VA.

[READ: How one Vietnam veteran is helping others who have served their country]

“Students need to get certain procedures to graduate, veterans are in need, I have an idea let’s put the two of them together and come up with some funding," Dr. Herb Silva said.

“This is marvelous. I think it’s going to help me a lot, I think it’s going to help a lot of other veterans," Lawless said. "It makes me feel wonderful that they care about veterans."

The clinic needs donations to keep up with the demand. Click here if you would like to help the project.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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