Lack of Dental Care for Veterans
VA doesn’t cover all dental care, but there are dentists that pick up the slack
If you’re a veteran, The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) won’t help cover your pearly whites unless you fit into some very specific criteria. What this means is that is can be difficult for many veterans to find affordable dental care.
It doesn’t matter that the VA helps veterans with a lot of other medical insurance issues, because to qualify for VA dental benefits a veteran will need to match several specific conditions. Those conditions include:
- Being 100% disabled or a former prisoner of war, or
- If they developed a dental issue while they were serving
Because of that veterans struggle to find dental care that they can actually pay for. And without access to dental care, veterans face life-threatening health risks like periodontal disease, which can lead to stroke or heart attack.
Dental care is so important not only to one’s overall health but to our livelihoods, too. Especially in fields where interacting face-to-face with others is a regular part of the job, having clean, healthy teeth can be a huge advantage.
This is where the Helping Hands Dental Foundation comes in. HHDF is a nonprofit foundation providing funding that enables our men and women from all branches of military to receive, through private and corporate donations, basic necessities and dental care.
HHDF often participates in Veteran Stand Downs where we help restore veterans’ back to good dental health and sometimes even provide dentures. Events like this are held across the country also providing supplies and services to homeless Veterans, such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings and VA Social Security benefits counseling.
Only when we realize that dental care is essential to our health — and only when we provide better insurance coverage for it — will we begin to make progress towards ensuring that our wonderful veterans gain the same access to dental care.
No Act of Kindness is Too Small or Too Big