Oral Care for Veterans: Everything You Need to Know
It takes a lot of heart to fight for something or someone you love. No one understands this concept more than a veteran. In the pursuit of peace, our soldiers go through so much just to come home. Sadly, when they come home, military veterans have gone through so much that they might not be the same.
Many veterans battle with moral injury, specific exposures to chemicals, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even their oral health plummets. As you may know already, oral health is of major significance to your overall health.
What is worse is veterans coming home, and they cannot access quality dental care. However, there is good news for veterans within our community. We are now registered as an in-network community healthcare provider for veterans under the VA network. But before we dive into the nitty-gritty of what this means, let’s see why veterans need this service.
Military Service and Dental Health: Is There a Link?
In many cases, veterans are at a higher risk of dental problems as compared to civilians. Military duty demands a lot, and thus it has a significant impact on oral health. Some of the issues that may cause dental issues or problems may be:
- Chronic Diseases
In some instances, military duty may demand soldiers to be in difficult conditions. In such situations, many people are susceptible to chronic illnesses that significantly impact oral health.
- Physical Issues
Soldiers are constantly exposed to all sorts of danger. Tooth loss and jaw fractures are common because they may be as a result of explosions, falls, and orofacial injuries.
Mental illnesses and PTSD are common issues that many veterans face. These issues often lead to addictions, which are bad for your oral health and overall health. Some psychotropic drugs are known to cause various dental problems.
Even when a soldier retires, the struggle with dental issues may still continue. The impact of poor oral health and bad habits will trickle down over the years.
What Are Some of the Dental Issues That Veterans Face?
Since military service can induce bad habits that can lead to poor oral hygiene, a veteran can be faced with any of the following dental issues:
- Dry mouth
- Gum disease
- Missing teeth
- Jaw damages
Dental Coverage and Benefits for Veterans
Through the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans can have access to dental care. As a veteran, you can expect to get quality dental care. This may include free or low-cost treatments, even insurances at preferential prices.
VA is helping many veterans maintain their oral health. Now, veterans can access different types of dental care, depending on their service history. However, the requirements for you to be eligible for treatment are strict.
Under VA, you may receive extensive dental care from our offices. However, not every veteran is eligible to access comprehensive care but may receive some of our services. In any case, you may need to know or understand your eligibility by checking if you fall under any of the following classes:
- Class I
- Class II
- Class IIA
- Class IIB
- Class IIC
- Class III
- Class IV
- Class V
- Class VI
How Can You Register for VA Benefits?
One of the beneficial things you can do as a veteran is to get professional dental care. You can access the VA dental benefits by following the registration process. You need to:
- Sign in to your VA.gov account and fill out the necessary details, then save your application in progress
- Prepare the necessary information such as your social security number, most recent tax return form, a copy of military discharge form, your dependents’ financial information, account numbers for the health insurance you have
- Fill out the healthcare application
You should get a response within seven days; if not, contact the VA before you apply again. Just like that, you can receive quality dental care at reduced rates.
We Are Here for You
As an in-network community healthcare provider for veterans under the VA network, we are happy to serve our veterans. Dental care can be expensive, and in some cases, people who need the care they need may be left out. However, we can deliver high-quality dental to our veterans.
Therefore, if you are within our community, make your way to our office, All Care Dental. A chat with our dental team can help you know what to do and the services that we offer.