State Profiles Make the Case
Roughly 7.6 million veterans who are eligible for other primary care through the VHA aren’t getting dental care. Inadequate dental care is costly and painful — particularly when poor oral health is accompanied by chronic disease conditions like heart disease or diabetes. These state profiles provide data that describe what oral health looks like for veterans by state, highlight additional health indicators by age and rurality, and compare each state's veterans to veterans nationally.
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Expanding Access and Equity
Did you know that roughly two in five veterans describe their oral health as fair or poor? This translates to approximately eight million veterans with self-reported suboptimal oral health. Veterans experience poorer oral health outcomes compared to non-veterans; a reality exacerbated by the historically fragmented dental care systems that perpetuate inequities. AIDPH's veteran oral health initiative focus areas include:
Understanding the current barriers
veterans face in accessing oral
health care to support a systems
Exploring integrated models of care that
support the unique healthcare needs
of veterans to inform whole-person health solutions.
Partnering with community, state, and national organizations to develop a stakeholder network ready to advance oral health equity for veterans.
Review Our Reports and Publications
Accessing routine dental care is challenging for many veterans — only 15% are eligible for dental care through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). It’s even harder for veterans living in rural communities, according to a report from the American Institute of Dental Public Health (AIDPH) and CareQuest Institute.
Key findings from the report show that rural veterans are:
- more likely to rate their dental health as “poor” (35.5%) compared with urban veterans (28.5%)
- less likely to qualify for dental care coverage through the VHA (49.3% said did not qualify) compared with urban veterans (39.6% said did not qualify)
- more likely to have or need dentures (39.8%) compared with urban veterans (23%)
- paying higher out-of-pocket costs for dental care compared with urban veterans
Explore Our Veteran Oral Health Data Dashboard