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Veterans Law

VA Dental Benefits for Veterans

Kaitlyn Degnan

July 18, 2018

Updated: February 16, 2024

VA dental benefits veterans health administration

VA offers dental benefits to certain eligible Veterans, however VA dental benefits are not included when a Veteran receives VA healthcare. Additionally, eligibility requirements for VA dental benefits are different from those for VA healthcare.

What Dental Benefits Does VA Offer?

The type and amount of dental care you receive through VA will depend on your eligibility (see “VA Dental Benefit Eligibility” below). However, care can range from regular cleanings to reconstruction surgery. VA lists the following as some of the services they provide:

  • “Regularly scheduled cleaning and x-rays.
  • Restorative procedures such as fillings, crowns, and bridges.
  • Comfortable, well-fitting dentures.
  • Oral surgery such as tooth extractions.
  • Access to oral and facial reconstruction surgery resulting from trauma or serious illness”

VA Dental Benefit Eligibility

The amount of VA dental benefits a veteran will receive differs depending on a few specific factors. VA categorizes eligibility for dental benefits into classes, and each class determines how extensive your dental benefits will be. According to VA’s website, the following are the classes along with their eligibility and amount of benefit.

  • Class I – Veterans with a service-connected compensable dental disability or condition are eligible for any dental care needed.
  • Class II – Veterans who apply for dental care within 180 days of their discharge or release from military service, who are discharged under other than dishonorable conditions, and served on active duty for 90 or more days during the Persian Gulf War era
    • These veterans are eligible to receive “one-time dental care if [their] DD214 […] does not indicate that a complete dental examination and all appropriate dental treatment had been rendered prior to discharge.”
  • Class IIA – Veterans who have a noncompensable service-connected dental condition or a dental disability that resulted from wounds in combat or service trauma
    • Eligible veterans can receive “any dental care necessary to provide and maintain a functioning dentition.”
  • Class IIB – Veterans who are enrolled and may be homeless and receive care under VHA Directive 2007-039
    • These veterans can receive “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 IICFormer Prisoners of War (POWs)
    • Former POWs are eligible to receive “any needed dental care.”
  • Class III – Veterans who have a dental condition that VA has clinically determined “to be associated with and aggravating a service-connected medical condition”
    • Veterans can receive “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 IV – Veterans who have a service-connected condition rated at 100% disabling, or receive Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) due to their service-connected condition(s).
    • Veterans who fall under this category can receive “any needed dental care.”
  • Class V – Veterans who are actively engaged in a VA vocational rehabilitation program under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31
    • Veterans can receive “dental care to the extent necessary as determined by a VA dental professional to:”
      • Make a veteran’s entrance into the rehabilitation program possible;
      • Achieve one of the veteran’s vocational rehabilitation goals;
      • Prevent the veteran’s vocational rehabilitation program from being interrupted;
      • Hasten a veteran’s return to a vocational rehabilitation program who has been “placed in discontinued status because of illness, injury, or a dental condition;”
      • Enables a veteran “to achieve maximum independence in daily living” or “secure and adjust to employment during a period of employment assistance.
  • Class VI – Veterans who “are receiving VA care or are scheduled for inpatient care and require dental care for a condition complicating a medical condition currently under treatment”
    • Veterans under this class are eligible for “dental care to treat the oral conditions that are determined by a VA dental professional to complicate your medical condition under treatment.”

Some veterans who are not eligible for VA dental benefits under the above classes can buy dental insurance through the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP).

About the Author

Bio photo of Kaitlyn Degnan

Kaitlyn joined CCK in September of 2017 as an Associate Attorney. Her practice focuses on representing disabled veterans before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

See more about Kaitlyn