While there’s no way to truly thank our veterans for everything they sacrifice for our country, all of us at Penn Dental Medicine want to express our heartfelt gratitude. Thank you for your dedication and military service to the United States. We understand that our freedom isn’t guaranteed and want to recognize all members of the military, past and present, who have served in order to keep us protected.
In a recent roundtable discussion in honor of Veterans Day, Dr. Mark Wolff, Penn Dental Medicine’s Morton Amsterdam Dean, highlighted some of the challenges that veterans face in accessing dental care. “Unfortunately, our veterans frequently have difficulty seeking and receiving dental care,” he said, noting the limitations of veterans’ dental coverage, as well as physical and emotional barriers to quality care.
With that in mind, Penn Dental Medicine is committed to providing comprehensive, compassionate, and affordable dental care for veterans. From discounted services to specialized care for persons with disabilities, veterans can find a range of services tailored to their specific needs.
During the roundtable discussion, Dean Mark Wolff highlighted many of the facets of Penn Dental Medicine that make it a preferred choice for local veterans seeking dental care.
“A large proportion of our patients participate in VA [Veterans Affairs] programs,” he noted while acknowledging that only a small portion of dental services are actually included under those programs, and very few veterans qualify for VA dental benefits. “A significant number of services are provided outside of the VA to veterans,” he says, “and we offer discounted dental care out of respect for their service to our country.”
The discount to which Dean Wolff is referring is the 20% Veteran’s Discount for all care received at our School of Dental Medicine. Service members receive a discount for their dental health care in addition to our already low rates for dental services. PDM uses a sliding scale and offers competitive prices, thanks to its status as a teaching dental clinic associated with the University of Pennsylvania.
To make dental care even more accessible for members of our armed forces, PDM has a dedicated appointment line for the exclusive use of veterans. Vets can call 215-573-VETS(8387) to make appointments or to ask questions about their dental care and benefits.
Penn Dental Medicine administers comprehensive dental care for patients at all stages of life. We diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions, providing age-specific care in each of our specialties. Our preventive dental services help patients avoid developing cavities, gum disease, and other conditions, while promoting their oral health. Restorative treatments include crowns, fillings, bridges, dentures, implants, and more.
When your examination reveals a specialized condition, you don’t need to look for another provider to get it treated because we can usually treat it in-house. Penn Dental Medicine offers a wide array of dental specialties, all under one roof:
A streamlined system of care means that you’ll be able to receive coordinated attention from dentists in different specialties. We are committed to continuity of care so that patients don’t have to start over with a new provider every time they need specialized treatment. Penn Dental Medicine is equipped to treat oral conditions ranging from oral cancer reconstruction (prosthodontics), to oral disorders (oral medicine), to severely misaligned and/or crooked teeth (orthodontics).
While many people have anxiety or dental phobias, for many veterans, going to the dentist is especially challenging due to PTSD or other service-related disabilities. According to Dean Wolff, Penn Dental’s Care Center for Persons with Disabilities is uniquely positioned to accommodate these needs while providing dental care for veterans. We provide inclusive treatment to patients of all ages, taking special measures to better serve our patients with disabilities, different language needs, and dental phobias.
Dean Wolff notes that students at Penn Dental are trained in finding ways to accommodate the specific needs of all patients, including veterans. In addition, Penn Dental and the Care Center for Persons with Disabilities work to make dental care possible for veterans with physical disabilities, ensuring they have the skills and care they need for oral health.
In addition to offering discounts for members of the armed forces, Penn Dental Medicine is honored to host an annual Veteran’s Fair to ensure access to quality dental care. Typically held on or near Veterans Day each November, this special event provides veterans, including faculty members who served, free dental care by appointment.
During the event, registered participants receive comprehensive screening exams, including oral cancer screenings, free of charge. Participating veterans will receive dental supplies and oral health care information, with the opportunity to schedule follow-up care when needed.
Our goal is to support veterans’ oral health by helping them to get the quality dental care they need. Watch for the announcement of the 2022 fair in the fall.
“Dentistry in veterans care holds a unique position in that so many veterans have oral health issues that affect their quality of life, their smile, their feelings about themselves, abilities to get jobs, and abilities to do things,” Dean Wolff says. “We have to take care of our veterans.”
If you’re interested in learning more about dental care for veterans at Penn Dental, make an appointment or call (215) 573-VETS(8387). You can also learn more about Penn’s commitment to caring for veterans by watching the roundtable discussion.