Bernie Sanders Thanked for Push to Enhance Oral Well being Look after Veterans

American Institute of Dental Public Well being and CareQuest Institute for Oral Well being have counseled U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for submitting amendments to assist develop entry to dental take care of veterans. The modifications are being thought of as a part of the Honoring Our Promise to Handle Complete Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022. 

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Veterans are extra probably than non-veterans to expertise oral ailments that have an effect on their high quality of life, together with greater charges of tooth decay, greater charges of gum illness, and an elevated want for restorative dental care. Moreover, many veterans don’t have entry to or aren’t eligible for dental care by means of the Division of Veterans Affairs.

“One of many many crises dealing with the dysfunctional well being care system in the US is that we don’t acknowledge dental care as well being care,” mentioned U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. “There isn’t any query that dental issues have an effect on total well being. You’ve got veterans on the market who’re fighting diabetes, fighting coronary heart illness, and their issues are exacerbated by poor oral well being and but they’ll’t get the dental care they want. By ignoring dental care, we trigger different well being care issues and we enhance bills to the VA. That’s absurd. The underside line is, dental care is well being care.”

“We applaud Sen. Sanders for submitting this modification to enhance entry to dental providers for veterans and deal with the long-standing obstacles a lot of them face when searching for this crucial care,” mentioned Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, president and CEO of CareQuest Institute for Oral Well being. “Right here at CareQuest Institute, we consider that each one veterans deserve entry to equitable oral well being care. In partnership with the American Institute of Dental Public Well being (AIDPH) and the veteran neighborhood, we’re actively exploring options to shut this current hole in care and entry and we’re dedicated to persevering with our work with Sen. Sanders and others to push for legislative modifications to assist veterans get the oral well being care they want and deserve.”

“This modification is a vital step in addressing the longstanding dental inequity skilled by U.S. veterans,” mentioned Dr. Annaliese Cothron, govt director of the American Institute of Dental Public Well being. “Our collaborative analysis with CareQuest Institute has clearly highlighted not solely the substantial want however vital price financial savings related to expanded entry to dental care by means of the VA. We recognize Sen. Sanders main vital legislative efforts that enhance entry to care and sit up for collectively advancing equitable oral well being for veterans.”

The modification from Sen. Bernie Sanders directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to supply dental care to all lined veterans who should not at present eligible for dental providers, together with by means of the usage of cellular dental clinics, teledentistry, and dental therapists to assist deal with the numerous limitations veterans face when accessing dental care.

The modification additionally consists of language to determine schooling programming to advertise dental well being for veterans, and creates a pupil debt compensation program for incoming dental professionals who serve veterans at VA dental clinics.

A new visible report from CareQuest Institute and AIDPH reveals that enhancing dental take care of veterans reduces prices, improves total well being, and stimulates the economic system. The report consists of some heartbreaking firsthand accounts from veterans who’re struggling to entry oral well being care.  

CareQuest Institute and AIDPH additionally not too long ago launched a white paper centered on options supporting veteran oral well being.  


CareQuest Institute for Oral Well being® is a nationwide nonprofit championing a extra equitable future the place each particular person can attain their full potential by means of glorious well being.

We do that by means of our work in grantmaking, analysis, well being enchancment applications, coverage and advocacy, and schooling in addition to our management in dental advantages and innovation developments. We collaborate with thought leaders, well being care suppliers, sufferers, and native, state, and federal stakeholders, to speed up oral well being care transformation and create a system designed for everybody.

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The American Institute of Dental Public Well being (AIDPH) is a 501c3 nonprofit centering well being fairness as a cornerstone of oral well being schooling and coaching.

We provide instructional coaching for oral well being professionals, help pupil progress and profession improvement in dental public well being, and function conveners of stature to facilitate methods change within the oral well being neighborhood. AIDPH was established to pursue our mission of fostering skilled excellence and advancing innovation within the schooling and follow of dental public well being. Be a part of us as we create our imaginative and prescient: an equity-oriented workforce ready to steer.

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FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash.

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