Dental care and eligibility
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What are the dental care eligibility and services in the Navy?

What types of dental care are there?

There are several types of dental care. These include:

  • Routine
  • Emergency
  • Elective

A person’s eligibility is what determines the type of treatment that is available to that person.

If you are a reservist who’s called into active duty and it has been more than 30 days since then, you are then considered eligible for all these services.

Your family is also eligible for Tricare dental as long as you (who are either active duty or reservist) have at least 12 months left of active duty.

How do you register as a patient for Tricare Dental care?

Patients must first register to validate or confirm eligibility for Tricare Dental.

You can find places like:

  • Outpatient medical records
  • Admissions and disposition offices

These offices are the ones to perform patient registrations.

How is dental care prioritized?

The facilities are called Naval Dental Treatment Facilities (DTFs). Although dental services span several different levels of care, the demand for dental care can far exceed the supply.

When this happens, care must be prioritized based on a standard criterion that is outlined below.

Priority categories

CategoriesDescription of Priority
1AActive duty gets the first priority.
1BReservist and National Guard personnel are next in line.
2Family members of active duties are after that. This also includes family members of active duty who died.
3Members of the Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps come after this.
4Next, we have retirees and their family members. This also includes family members of deceased retirees.
5Civilian employees of the Federal Government are the second to last on the list.
This table lists and sorts out dental care priority with the top being first in line and the bottom being last

Emergency dental treatment priority takes priority over all priority categories

Emergency dental treatment required by any person will supersede even the highest category of priority on the list. If someone comes in with a real emergency, they can get in front of the line.

What types of dental care are available at MTFs?

Dental services are capable of all the medical, surgical, and restorative treatments. This includes oral disease, injuries, and deficiencies in dental health.

This service is exclusively offered to active duty. Reservists are also eligible if they are called into active duty for more than 30 days. Family members and retirees use the Tricare Dental Plan.

Most services are preventative and corrective. These include:

  • Examinations and oral health instructions (OHI)
  • Restoration of tooth
  • Periodontal work
  • Surgical procedures
  • Teeth replacement

What do MTF dental care providers do during during a dental emergency?

  • Relieve pain
  • Control bleeding
  • Treatment and management of acute septic conditions
  • Treat injuries to oral-facial structures

Emergency dental care is approved for all personnel in all categories.

What is elective dental care in the Navy?

This type of care may be authorized by the dental officer in accordance with Navy policy.

A few examples of elective dental care are:

  • Malocclusions
  • Orthodontics
  • Replacing fillings with gold crowns
  • etc