Dental grants and programs for veterans are crucial, primarily because of unmet oral health care needs related to periodontitis.
Studies show oral health conditions are more prevalent in veterans than non-veterans. Fortunately, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers some dental benefits, which range from basic treatment to more extensive dental care.
You can search for “free dental for veterans near me,” but we simplified your search with this blog, which explores dental eligibility criteria and provides information about the services veterans may be able to receive.
Understanding Dental Care For Veterans
Dental pain and infection can greatly impact the quality of life, and poor oral health has been linked to many chronic conditions. Veterans may also have unique dental needs due to trauma, rough environments, and hazardous conditions related to their military service. In addition, veterans may not have access to dental care due to a lack of insurance and financial resources. A majority of veterans have poor or fair oral health, and about three-quarters have difficulty eating as a result.
Most veterans aren’t eligible for veterans’ dental care, and 87% of them don’t avail themselves of Veterans Affairs benefits. Fortunately, veterans have numerous options for free dental care.
Veterans Dental Benefits And Eligibility
The National Veterans Foundation lists veterans eligible for dental care at the 200+ locations across the United States that offer veteran dental services. Veterans may be eligible for outpatient dental treatment through the Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system, which includes surgical, diagnostic, preventive, and restorative procedures. However, in most cases, the type of care might be limited.
Take note that several factors impact your eligibility for benefits, including your military service history and living conditions. You are assigned a specific benefits class based on these factors.
Who Is Eligible For Dental Care?
VA benefits and services are available only if your discharge status isn’t dishonorable unless your VA regional office makes an exception.
There are different classes of VA dental care. It is available to people who are in the following classes, including repeat dental care:
- Class I: Service-connected dental disability
- Class IIC: Former prisoner of war
- Class IV: Receive service-connected disability compensation
Some classes may be partially eligible with time or service limitations, such as families involved in vocational rehabilitation.
If eligible, you can enroll in VA health care online.
How to Apply
- Download the 10-10EZR or 10-10EZ form or apply directly online
- Visit your nearest VA medical center or clinic
The VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP) is available to veterans who are not eligible for dental care. You can also choose from Delta Dental or MetLife’s discounted insurance plans if you are enrolled in VA health care or a CHAMPVA beneficiary.
Finding Dental Care For Veterans Near You
Here are the free dental care options for veterans that may be available in your area:
Dental Insurance Program (VADIP)
As part of the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP), eligible veterans can receive dental care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA’s dentist search tool can help locate a participating dentist near you.
You might be able to get a lower price on dental insurance through VADIP in some situations.
State Department Of Veterans Affairs
In many states, veterans are eligible for free or low-cost dental care. It covers limited to comprehensive dental care services for veterans. Find out if a program is available in your state through the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Health.
Mission Of Mercy
Veterans can receive free dental care from non-profit organizations such as Mission of Mercy during certain events in different states. They provide basic dental care and help patients find other affordable dental services. Check if the organization is hosting any upcoming events near you by checking their website.
Veterans can often receive low-cost or free dental care at dental schools. Contact your nearest dental school to see if they offer free or low-cost dental services.
Veterans may be eligible for discounts or free care at some dental practices. Reach out to dental practices near you to find out if they offer veterans’ discounts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? You can find answers to the most frequently asked questions about veteran dental care below.
Is dental free for the military?
If a military dentist refers you to a civilian dentist for specialty care, you will not be charged any fees as long as they are a network dentist. If you choose to receive care from a dentist, who is not in your network, you will be responsible for the costs.
Do veterans have access to dental care?
Veterans can receive outpatient dental treatment, including surgical, diagnostic, restorative, and preventative procedures. Most laws, however, only permit limited types of treatment.
Will the VA pay for full dental implants?
Veterans who qualify for any dental care categories listed above can receive no-cost dental implants through the VA.
Does the VA pay for tooth extraction?
Yes, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides dental care for veterans, which may include tooth extraction. Moreover, the extent of coverage varies depending on the individual’s eligibility and the availability of VA dental care in their area. It is best to contact them directly to find out if the VA will cover your services or if you are eligible.
Make Your Next Dental Exam A Priority
Dental care is essential for ensuring veterans’ oral health and overall well-being. If your search for “free dental for veterans near me” doesn’t turn up, you still have options for private dental insurance or government assistance grants to maintain your dental coverage.
Our resource on government grants for dental implants can help you discover more financial aid options available.