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Ensuring Bright Smiles and Healthy Lives: The Dedication of Orlando VA Healthcare System's Dental Hygiene Team

Veteran patient Visham Ransaram receives a dental cleaning at the Orlando VA Medical Center in Lake Nona, Orlando, Fla.
Veteran patient Visham Ransaram and OVAHCS Certified Registered Dental Hygienist (CRDH) Samantha Ruvolo finish up his dental cleaning in the Dental Clinic at the Orlando VA Medical Center in Lake Nona, Orlando, Fla.

In the heart of Medical City in Orlando, amidst the bustling healthcare activities, lies a team that silently but steadfastly works to ensure the well-being of our nation's heroes.

The Dental Hygiene Team at the Orlando VA Healthcare System (OVAHCS) consists of dedicated professionals who go above and beyond to provide top-notch dental care to Veterans. 

Led by passionate experts like, OVAHCS Certified Registered Dental Hygienist (CRDH), Samantha Ruvolo, the mission transcends beyond cleaning teeth; it's about restoring dignity, comfort, and confidence in those who have served our country. 

“We do all of this in 60 minutes or less,” said Ruvolo as she finishes up an appointment with a Veteran. “Not only do we help people with their oral health needs and educate them on how to care for their mouths, but we also know how the oral cavity and its toxins are linked to other diseases such as heart attacks, stroke, and diabetes. We share all of that during their visit.”

The OVAHCS Dental Hygienist team comprises of highly trained licensed professionals who care for Veteran patients at the Orlando VA Medical Center, the Lake Baldwin VA Clinic, the Daytona Beach VA Clinic, and at the Viera VA Clinic. 

They provide services for prophylaxis (routine cleaning), scaling and rood planning (gum treatment), interpretation of x-rays to assist in the detection of tooth decay, permanent bone loss, infection, abscess, tartar build-up, application of fluoride and desensitizing medicaments, administration of local anesthetic, oral cancer screenings, TMJ evaluations, oral hygiene education, smoking cessation counseling services nutrition counseling services and more!

OVAHCS Assistant Chief of Dental Service, Dr. Junaid Farooqui explains that caring for Veterans whole health is at the center of everything they do. 

“It’s important to ask them questions, find out what their oral goal health goals are, and provide education along the way,” said Farooqui. “

For the OVAHCS Dental Hygienist team, every patient is not just a case but a story waiting to be heard and a life waiting to be uplifted. "We see beyond the dental chair," said Ruvolo. "Our goal is not just to fix dental issues but to improve their overall well-being. Many of our Veterans come to us with dental problems that affect their daily lives. By addressing these issues, we're not just restoring smiles; we're restoring dignity and quality of life." 

Providing for Veterans is near and dear to Ruvolo’s heart. “These men and women were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country, so, the least I can do is provide them with the best care that they deserve,” she declares. “I have a brother who is a disabled Veteran; I treat my Veteran Patients as if they were my family. So, I feel like I make a difference, in those 60-minutes, by helping a patient improve not only their oral health, but their overall health as well."

For more information about how you can receive dental care at the Orlando VA Healthcare System, please visit our specialty clinics website at: Health Services | VA Orlando Health Care | Veterans Affairs.