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VA Dental Care Benefits

In the last weeks of 2023, Federal Times ran an article with the headline, “Wait, the VA doesn’t do dental care? Group aims to fill a health gap”.

That story, about a Nevada-based company trying to change the availability of dental care for the veteran population, included a quote from one of the private dental providers, who notes people are “super shocked” to learn “the VA doesn’t provide dental care.”

The article’s author hedges that statement, saying many are surprised to learn “the VA doesn’t provide much in the way (emphasis ours) of dental care for some vets.” What’s the reality? Does the Department of Veterans Affairs offer dental care options? How do you qualify for such care? We explore your options below.

VA Dental Care For Qualifying Veterans

Not all vets qualify for VA dental care options. Those who do include:

  • Veterans with service-connected dental disabilities
  • Those with service-connected disabilities that affect dental care
  • Those in the VA VR&E Program
  • Veterans who are VA-rated as 100% disabled
  • Those who are unemployable and draw VA disability at the 100% rate
  • Those who served for 90 days or more during the Persian Gulf War
  • Those scheduled for in-patient VA care who have “complicating dental issues” that affect care.

Related: Disabled Veteran Benefits

Many qualifying factors allow “any needed” dental care, but not all. Veterans who served for 90 days or more during the Persian Gulf War are authorized one-time dental care if they meet certain requirements.

Those who qualify because they have a service-connected disability that makes dental issues worse, may be entitled to “Dental care to treat the oral conditions that a VA dental care provider concludes are directly making your service-connected health condition worse…”

Those in the VA VR&E program may qualify for dental care if it is needed, according to VA.gov, to accomplish the following:

  • Make it possible to participate in the program;
  • To prevent qualifying veterans from having to stop an employment program;
  • Help qualifying veterans “get back to your employment program faster…”
  • Make it possible to be “fully independent in your daily living…”

How to Sign Up for VA Dental Care

Before you sign up for VA dental care using VA Form 10-10EZ, be sure to check your eligibility for the program. You can call the VA directly at 1-800-821-1000 to get help.

Before you apply, gather your Social Security Card, military discharge paperwork, insurance information, and details about your household income and tax-deductible expenses from the previous year. Expect to apply online at VA.gov.

The VA system can guide you through the online application process, which takes about half an hour. If you need help navigating the system, call the VA directly at the number given above.

You can begin an application without signing into the VA system, but you may be limited on how much data you can enter, and you may not be able to save your forms until you have signed in.

You can access VA Form 10-10EZ and submit it using ID.me, DSLogin, ID.me, or MyHealtheVet.

Where to Find VA Dental Care

The Department of Veterans Affairs has around 200 dental clinics across the United States and you can use a VA locator tool to find the closest one to you.

Related: Disabled Veteran Benefits

About the author

Editor-in-Chief | + posts

Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.