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Access To Dental Care For Medically Compelling Conditions

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July 14, 2008

1. Purpose. This Information Letter solicits the assistance of each facility Director in providing
appropriate care for veteran patients having a medical condition negatively impacted by poor
oral health, and provides information that may assist facilities in providing a consistent standard
of dental care throughout the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

3. Evaluation
a. Veterans with a medically compelling need for dental care may be treated as either a
Classification III or VI, depending upon whether the medical condition is service connected.
b. The following conditions may infer a presumptive need for examination and appropriate
treatment, as indicated. While this list is not meant to be all inclusive, other conditions need to
be supported by contemporary clinical literature.


4. Treatment
a. Classification III and VI patient groups need to receive care limited to the treatment of
those dental conditions that are professionally determined by the examining or treating dentist to
be aggravating or compromising a medical condition. The goal of care is improvement of the
oral conditions that directly impact the medical condition. In general, this is meant to be the
presurgical or pretreatment elimination of oral foci of infection. This generally includes dental
caries, active periodontal disease, or acute and chronic dentoalveolar abscess. Restoration of
function with prosthetic care is a desirable goal, but is resource driven. Comprehensive dental
treatment is not routinely provided.
b. Dental treatment is generally limited to supportive periodontal therapy, non-cast
restorative dentistry, oral surgical procedures, and endodontics; if dental care results in
edentulation or significant compromise to speech or aesthetics, prosthetic rehabilitation may be
authorized. Subsequent prosthetic care following the episode of care when the prosthesis is
provided is the responsibility of the patient. With the exception of patients who have received
radiation therapy to the maxilla or mandible, eligibility for each episode of care must be
predicated on referral and application followed by a new evaluation.
5. Inquiries. Questions regarding this Information Letter may be directed to the Office of
Dentistry in Patient Care Services at 202-461-6951.

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when i went through meps at 17 my wisdom teeth had not came through so, the docs just filled some cavs.

anyway, i go on the 28th to my vamc to have oral surgery to have my wisdom teeth removed. why couldnt my wisdom teeth have came in at 17 lol.

thanks for the info. most vets don't this. if you have an emergent dental issue they'll take care of it.

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what do you mean? lol. at any rate im shocked the va is going to put me to sleep to cut these things out. i should also add on my dd214 it is noted i didnt have dental 90 days prior. plus, i have had recurring infections in my teeth. i was also in hudvash in miami florida. they pulled two teeth in my mouth. i shoulda done it back then im just petrified of anesthesia... idk why.

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Just had my teeth out today. Got some kind of loopy drugs i was all messed up then the doc said im giving you the sleeping drugs. went out then woke up and numb as h*ll for about 8 hours ended up having 8 teeth removed.

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