Dental care is an important aspect of general health. However, if you’re a veteran you may be wondering how dental care works for you. Here are some answers to the questions you might be asking if you’re a veteran who needs to dental care.
Who qualifies as a veteran in Canada?
A veteran is any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who successfully completed basic training and is honourably released.
Can veterans get free dental care in Canada?
Under the Canada Health Act general oral care is not covered. However, you may be covered under Veterans Affairs Canada.
How can Veterans Affairs help me?
Veterans Affairs Canada provides financial support for senior dental care to qualified veterans.
What are the eligibility requirements?
To qualify for financial support through Veterans Affairs Canada the following eligibility requirements must be met:
You must be in receipt of a disability benefit
You must be in receipt of services through the Veterans Independence Program
You must be receiving financial assistance through Long-term Care OR War Veterans Allowance
What services are covered if I qualify for benefits?
Veterans get free dental care for the following services:
Annual basic treatments up to $1500 annually for exams, polish and fluoride treatments every 9 months
Scaling ( deep dental cleaning to remove plaque build-up below the gumline – 8 units per year )
Fillings and Extractions
Standard dentures once every 7 years
Is Pre-authorization required?
Basic treatments do not require pre-authorization, in general. However, the following dental services will require pre-authorization:
Basic treatment that exceeds $1500
Bridgework (X-rays required)
Special treatments (referral required)
Early placement of dentures, as determined by a dentist or denturist
What criteria must be met for non-basic dental services?
Non-basic dental services include treatments such as crowns or bridgework. The following criteria must be met for non-basic dental services to be covered by Veterans Affairs Canada:
Dental providers must provide a treatment plan to Veterans Affairs Canada
The treatment must be required to address the health needs
Oral or general health would be at risk without the treatment
What if I have a dental emergency and cannot obtain pre-authorization?
Emergency dental services for trauma, pain or infection that require immediate attention does not require pre-authorization.
Are there dental services that are not covered?
Yes. Veterans Affairs Canada will not cover the following dental services:
Equilibrated, custom, or semi-precision dentures
Related article: Financial Aid for Dental Implant in Ontario
Can I see any dental provider of my choice?
Veterans Affairs Canada has approved dental providers for eligible individuals.
Will I have to pay any fees for dental services?
Veterans Affairs Canada will pay the rate set out in the fee schedule for that associated provincial/territorial Dental Association when the dental services are not fully covered services of the province. Veterans Affairs Canada will pay up to 100%of the rates that are set in the Provincial Dental / Denturist Association fee guide.
Although basic dental services are not included in the Canada Health Act, there are options for veterans through the Veterans Affairs Canada for qualified individuals.
If you’re experiencing dental problems that need to be taken care of and you are a veteran don’t hesitate to get the dental service you need. Coverage of dental services is determined on an individual basis while taking into consideration the individuals oral health needs.