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dental policy - Bay Pine - Lee County

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Ok. I serendipitously found out what a dental bone graft was when my outside assigned by VA dentist was denied authorization but put one in anyway. After that I begin messaging through the secure messaging system my dentist who for 30 days and over 15 messages and 15 replies (approx) Told me every which way to Sunday that “VA does not authorize bone graft.”

During the last 32 days of questioning through the messaging system about this to the same dentist, it was revealed that this was local VA policy. So I asked about how stranger possibly cruel that was, that a veteran could move to another place and get a bone graft! IF said Vet KNEW IT WAS HAPPENING!!!

then about a week ago in the early evening my phone rings and it’s the chief of dentistry at Bay Pines. After he identified himself to me and myself to him he told me “what you’ve been hearing about a no bone graphs policy, is not true” and never existed. 

So I was denied at least one. No telling how long this dentist or that whole office has been telling veterans this policy was real and how many they’ve denied.


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  • Moderator

This is the first time a VA employee has ever lied to a Veteran..oh maybe not.  Many of them tell Vets anything to get them off the phone.  The VA has "trust Issues" with Veterans for some very good reasons.  ....they earned it. 

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  • 7 months later...

I used to go the CBOC in Cape Coral. I had some bad experience with the dentist there. The one from PR. VA dental kind of sucks at times. Especially anything to do with implants, bone grafts, etc.

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  • Elder

I had bad experiences with the VA dental system as well.  I lost a tooth because of them and almost lost a couple more.  I don't use them anymore.  I will pay the money to get a real dentist.  I used James Haley in Tampa and they are piss poor IMO.

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 i have since “deduced” that (read my original message) when the Chief of Dentistry called to say no such policy exist, he wasn’t being very forthcoming. otherwise, why would the VA dentist who me that there was such ‘local policy’ have told me so over half-a-dozen times?  i think i know why: what the chief was saying is that there is no written policy for me to access; what he didn’t say is that there is virtually such ‘local policy’ because they never authorize it. get it? 

thing is, he was agreeing on the phone call that this was a huge deal, therefore not only not forthcoming, but disingenuous, no?

to everyone/anyone reading here: do you believe the stated mission of the VA is being met when in one region/state/VA clinic you may not be provided for because they don’t have what you need, but other VA clinics do? 
do you not believe that the VA is nationwide system and if one clinic cannot treat for lack of tools or specialized provider, they should arrange for your travel to one that does?

i have messages saying, regarding full dental (groups 1 & 4), the VA website and Dental Handbook say, for one thing,  “comprehensive” dental care, i have messages that say “your comprehensive care is based on what we have available.” thus, at one clinic you may not get proper treatment while at another, because they have a specialist in staff or in the community, you will get it.


sounds like a class action lawsuit to me, if you can show damage or inappropriately handled tooth or bone loss for failure to treat (waiting/ watching for years only to later extract when it could have been prevented or delayed).

anyone interested in such a filing, let me know, please. 

ps. there is more solid “evidence”. win or lose, ppl ought to at least know what’s happening. only a court case will do that, not a newspaper article. a news article will not contain under oath statements matched against same persons writings and sworn depositions, a court case will.

Edited by max87
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Count me in on the lawsuit. I've had some horrendous problems with VA Dental. I've been eligible since 1978 and didn't know I had it until 2011. That only happened because I filed other claims they turned down but did let me know I was eligible for dental. There was no letter or percentage just a form saying loss of teeth. Some clinics didn't want to recognize my eligibility.

Bay Pines/Lee County wouldn't do implants, their reasoning being (I was told) it cost too much and they could serve more vets by not providing implant care. However both Minneapolis and Tucson provide implants. Tucson has an Implant Board who decides who's eligible.

I agree the system is f**ked up and doesn't serve vets in line with Mission Statement.

Edited by McRay
wrong date
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