Dental Benefits for Veterans
Dental benefits are provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) according to law. In some instances, VA is authorized to provide extensive dental care, while in other cases treatment may be limited. This Fact Sheet describes dental eligibility criteria and contains information to assist Veterans in understanding their eligibility for VA dental care.
Outpatient Dental Program
The eligibility for outpatient dental care is not the same as for most other VA medical benefits and is categorized into classes. If you are eligible for VA dental care under Class I, IIA, IIC, or IV you are eligible for any necessary dental care to maintain or restore oral health and masticatory function, including repeat care. Other classes have time and/or service limitations.
|If you:||You are eligible for:||Through:|
|Have a service-connected compensable dental disability or condition.||Any needed dental care||Class I|
|Are a Former Prisoner of War||Any needed dental care||Class IIC|
|Have service-connected disabilities rated at 100% disabling, or are unemployable and paid at the 100% rate due to service-connected conditions.||Any needed dental care. (Please note: Veterans paid at the 100% rate based on a temporary rating, such as extended hospitalization for a service-connected disability, convalescence or pre-stabilization are not eligible for comprehensive outpatient outpatient dental services based on this temporary rating.)||Class IV|
|Apply for dental care within 180 days of discharge or release (under conditions other than dishonorable) from a period of active duty or 90 days or more during the Persian Gulf War Era.||One-time dental care if your DD-214 (Certificate of Discharge) does not indicate that a complete dental examination and all appropriate dental treatment had been rendered prior to discharge.*||Class II|
|Have a service-connected noncompensable dental condition or disability resulting from combat wounds or service trauma.||Any dental care necessary to provide and maintain a functioning dentition. A Dental Trauma Rating (VA Form 10-564-D) or VA Regional Office Rating Decision Letter (VA Form 10-7131) identifies the tooth/teeth/condition(s) that are trauma related.||Class IIA|
|Have a dental condition clinically determined by the VA to be associated with and aggravating a service-connected medical condition.||Dental care to treat the oral conditions that are determined by a VA dental professional to have a direct and material detrimental effect to your service connected medical condition.||Class III|
|Are actively engaged in a 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31 VR&E program.||Dental care to the extent necessary as determined by a VA dental professional to:|
- Make possible your entrance into a rehabilitation program
- Achieve the goals of your vocational rehabilitation program
- Prevent interruption or your rehabilitation program
- Hasten the return to a rehabilitation program if you are in interrupted or leave status
- Hasten the return to a rehabilitation program of a veteran placed in discontinued status because of illness, injury or a dental condition, or
- Secure and adjust to employment during the period of employment assistance, or enable you to achieve maximum independence in daily living.
|Are receiving VA care or are scheduled for inpatient care and require dental care for a condition complicating a medical condition currently under treatment.||Dental care to treat the oral conditions that are determined by a VA dental professional to complicate your medical condition currently under treatment.||Class VI|
|Are an enrolled Veteran who may be homeless and receiving care under VHA Directive 2007-039.||A one-time course of dental care that is determined medically necessary to relieve pain, assist you to gain employment, or treat moderate, severe, or complicated and severe gingival and periodontal conditions.||Class IIB|
*Note: Public Law 83 enacted on June 16, 1955, amended Veterans' eligibility for outpatient dental services. As a result, any veteran who received a dental award letter from the VBA dated before 1955 in which VBA determined the dental conditions to be noncompensable are no longer eligible for Class II outpatient dental treatment.
Inpatient Dental Program
Veterans receiving hospital, nursing home, or domiciliary care will be provided dental services that are professionally determined by a VA dentist, in consultation with the referring physician, to be essential to the management of the patient’s medical condition under active treatment.
For more information about eligibility for VA medical and dental benefits, contact VA at 1-877-222-VETS (8387).