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Pennsylvania Program Providing Roughly $13 Million A Year To Crime Victims

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Medical help for victims of crime. On the healthwatch, a little-known fund is available to people who need treatment after something like an assault.

Aaron Gross is back to work and feeling confident after a brutal and disfiguring assault.

Injuries from the attack included losing three front teeth.

Aaron turned to Bala Cynwyd Dentist David Weinstock to restore his teeth.

The restoration started with individual bone grafts to build a scaffold that would hold the replacement teeth--porcelain veneers.

"The implant is the root of the tooth so a titanium implant is placed in the jaw bone is a recreation of the root surface of the tooth," said Dr. David Weinstock.

It's a long complicated process that took two years to get exactly right.

This kind of cosmetic restorative dentistry can cost up to $8,000 a tooth. A $24,000 bill that health and dental insurance didn't come close to covering.

"It was in this gray area where it wasn't covered full by either," said Gross

But it was covered by Pennsylvania's Victims Compensation Assistance Program that pays for medical care of crime victims.

"I think it's an amazing thing that PA has set up to help correct the deformity that can happen after such immensely traumatic experiences," said Weinstock.

For Aaron, who interacts with clients, he's relieved to be looking like himself again.

Crime victims are supposed to be told about the fund by police officers responding to crimes but that doesn't always happen.  The overall maximum award is $35,000.

To learn more about the program, CLICK HERE.

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