Veteran Oral Health

Many veterans lack the oral health coverage and access they need to reach their full potential through optimal health. CareQuest Institute is beginning a journey to understand the scope of the problem, working with — and empowering — others to envision solutions.


Veteran in a providers office

Join the Veteran Oral Health Action Collaborative

This 8-month intensive program will feature innovative presentations and hands-on applied learning in partnership with the American Institute of Dental Public Health. Each month interprofessional presenters will build on concepts of care integration and value-based designs while advancing solutions to veteran oral health issues.

We welcome both clinical professionals and community representatives and advocates who want to find solutions that support optimal veteran oral health. Join us for the online kick-off on June 8 at 11 a.m. CT to learn more about this unique action collaborative and the program plan.

The Need Is Clear

According to CareQuest Institute and AIDPH research, compared to non-veterans, veterans have consistently higher rates of periodontitis, missing teeth, and filled teeth, even when controlling for other factors like chronic medical conditions and smoking status. Veterans are also more likely to have health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension that are associated with poor oral health and often lead to higher out-of-pocket costs for patients. Our research shows the economic and health benefits of improving access to dental care for veterans.  

In 2021, CareQuest Institute and the American Institute of Dental Public Health (AIDPH) partnered to begin exploring ways to improve veteran oral health care. The partnership will focus on studying the current state of veteran oral health and access to care and then developing data-driven recommendations informed by the veteran community. Both organizations believe that veterans need and deserve access to care in an integrated system that they have a voice in designing.  

Further, many veterans do not qualify for dental care from Veterans Affairs unless they have a pre-existing dental condition, a disability, or were a prisoner of war. Additionally, Medicare only pays for certain dental services patients receive in the hospital and Medicaid provides limited or no adult dental benefits in several states. 

CareQuest Institute and AIDPH will be publishing data and reports that highlight the need to provide this critical care to veterans.

veteran and provider

Veteran Oral Health Reports

Cover of report Veteran Oral Health

Veteran Oral Health: Expanding Access and Equity

A white paper that identifies strategic recommendations to improve access to and quality of care for veterans.
Cover of report Veteran Dental Care Stimulates the Economy and Improves Overall Health

Veteran Dental Care Stimulates the Economy and Improves Overall Health

A visual report that examines the economic and health implications of improving access to dental care for veterans.
Cover of report Improving the Oral Health of Rural Veterans

Improving the Oral Health of Rural Veterans

A report which highlights the additional challenges to accessing dental care for veterans living in rural communities and offers potential solutions..