In recent months, Keystone Dental Arts has been seeing more and more patient referrals from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Manchester, NH (VAMC). This influx of veterans as new patients is likely a result of the expanded access to non-VA dental care now accessible thanks to the Veterans Choice program.

If you recently got out of the military you may be entitled to a free dental exam.In August 2014 the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act (VACAA) was signed into law, which directed the establishment of a new Veterans Choice Program (VCP) program to better meet the health care needs of our nation’s veterans. Among other health services, the Veterans Choice Program provide dental health care for eligible veterans when the local VA medical center (VAMC) cannot provide the services due to a lack of available specialists, long wait times, or extraordinary distance from the veteran’s home.

Victoria Ingersoll, Keystone’s practice manger, notes, “We are pleased to providing dental care for NH veterans. So far, we have helped in cases of fillings, partial dentures, dentures, crowns, and many types of implant restorations. We are pleased to be helping our veterans obtain the oral health care they need and are entitled to.

Dental benefits and eligibility for outpatient dental care is not the same as other VA medical benefits and are provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs according to law.

According to the Veterans Administration Dental Benefits Publication IB10-442, if you are eligible for VA dental care under Class I, IIA, IIC, or IV, you are eligible for certain necessary dental care.

*Update as of 2017 – Since we first published this article in 2015, we have noticed a growing delay in processing time at the VA. If you are in need of services under the Veterans Choice program, we recommend you plan ahead. We are seeing some cases take months to process. Get started today! Remember, you must start with your local VA office.

For more information about eligibility for VA medical and dental benefits or the Veterans Choice Program, contact VA at 1-877-222-VETS (8387) or visit the VA Dentistry website.