VA Dental Care in Melbourne, FL
With approximately 1.5 million veterans living in Florida, the “sunshine state” has the third largest population of retired service members in the U.S. Unfortunately, over 40% of veterans nationwide consider their oral health suboptimal. As a retiree, you may be eligible for dental benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Quality VA dental care is crucial to maintaining your overall health and well-being, as it can alleviate your dental pain, prevent oral diseases, and enhance your quality of life.
At Designing Smiles Dentistry, we provide expert VA dental care to our valued community.
What Does a VA Dentistry Provider Do?
We are proud to announce that Dr. Victor Apel, DMD, is a credentialed VA community provider. At Designing Smiles, we aim to increase access to high-quality dentistry to achieve health equity for our nation’s heroes.
We realize that navigating the complex world of VA benefits can be difficult. Our skillful team has already helped many veterans get their needed dental treatment, and we’d like to assist you next. From understanding your benefits to delivering the best dentistry services, we provide comprehensive dental care to help you restore your smile and achieve optimal oral health.
Who Is Eligible for VA Dental Care at Designing Smiles?
The VA uses classes to categorize dental care eligibility. If you are a United States veteran with a 100% service-connected disability (Class I), you can request to see an outside provider and have your treatment covered at 100%. According to the VA’s outpatient dental program, veterans with a Class I rating qualify for any dental treatment that helps maintain or restore their oral health and chewing function—from regular cleanings to full-mouth reconstruction with mini dental implants. If you fall within this class, there are no time limits to apply for treatment or restrictions on the number of repeated treatments.
For proper care coordination, all non-emergency dental care requires approval from the VA in advance. As your partner, the compassionate team at Designing Smiles Dentistry will assist you in this process and help you understand your benefit plan so that you get the care you need and deserve.
Seeking Your Own Outpatient Dental Provider
If you are a veteran with a 100% service-connected disability, seeking your own dental care provider has significant benefits.
With the flexibility to choose your practitioner, you can thoroughly scrutinize your potential dentist and their practice. This ensures you get the quality treatment that best suits your needs and preferences. You’ll be more confident and comfortable getting your treatment knowing that the provider is one that you selected yourself.
In contrast, seeking treatment at a VA facility does not give you the freedom to select your dentist and may result in long waiting periods. When you need dental work, waiting for treatment is not only inconvenient, but it can also cause further complications. At Designing Smiles, you can trust us to provide you with expert dental care in a timely fashion.
Why Should Veterans Choose Designing Smiles?
13.8% of adult residents in Brevard County are veterans, meaning that our county has one of the highest populations of veterans in the state. Veterans are our esteemed community members, and we are eager to offer them personalized dental care.
At Designing Smiles Dentistry, we treat you like family, getting to know you as a person and as a patient.
Additionally, Dr. Apel is specially equipped to treat a wide range of veterans’ dental needs. Not only is Dr. Apel a member of the American Dental Association, the Florida Dental Association, and the Brevard County Dental Society, but he is also a member of the Mini Dental Implant Centers of America (MDICA). As an MDICA dentist, Dr. Apel specializes in replacing his patients’ missing teeth with minimally invasive mini dental implants.
Whether you need a preventative treatment or a major restorative procedure, you can count on Dr. Apel and his team to provide high-quality VA dental care.
Our VA Dental Care Services
We provide comprehensive dental care to veterans. Those with a 100% service-connected VA rating are eligible for all diagnostic, preventative, restorative, and surgical dental procedures. Keep reading to learn more about some of our procedures and treatments.
Exams, Cleanings, and X-rays
Maintaining your oral health and wellness starts with an oral exam, which includes a professional cleaning and X-rays. At your appointment, we will examine your teeth, gums, and soft tissues, evaluate your bite and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) function, and screen for oral cancer. Using our CBCT system, we will take digital 3D X-rays to obtain a high-resolution, detailed view of your teeth, jaw, and surrounding structures. These images help us diagnose your dental needs and plan treatments with precision.
According to a report on veteran oral health, 56% of veterans reported active and treated tooth decay, compared to only 37% of nonveterans. Even if you brush and floss regularly at home, reaching every groove and crevice is difficult. Professional cleanings are necessary to maintain optimal oral health. Using specialized equipment, we will remove bacterial plaque that causes cavities and gum disease.
Decay occurs when bacteria from plaque are not removed from your teeth. The acids in the plaque wear away your enamel, causing cavities. You can prevent cavities through proper oral hygiene and routine dental checkups. However, if you find that you have a cavity, we can restore your tooth’s strength and function with a dental filling.
Crowns and Bridges
If a tooth is cracked, decayed, or broken, we can cap it with a dental crown. The crown provides a protective barrier to preserve the tooth. Custom crowns are tailored to fit your tooth perfectly, preventing additional damage from bacteria.
Another restorative treatment option is a dental bridge. Bridges replace one or more missing teeth in a row when there are healthy natural teeth adjacent to the gap. We prepare these teeth by removing some enamel so the bridge fits securely over them. Once placed, a bridge restores your bite function while unifying your smile.
If you have experienced substantial tooth loss from decay, injury, or disease, dentures can help you regain your bite. Full dentures—sometimes called complete dentures—replace a full arch of teeth on the top or bottom jaw, while partial dentures are used when some healthy teeth remain in the arch. Both full and partial dentures are removable custom dental appliances. At Designing Smile Dentistry, we also offer a range of mini implant stabilized dentures for a more secure fit.
Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants are prosthetic tooth roots that support a prosthetic like an artificial crown, bridge, or denture. These revolutionary implants are half the size of traditional dental implants and offer significant benefits for those looking to replace missing teeth quickly and effectively. They are especially suitable for those with narrow jawbones who are otherwise ineligible for dental implants. While traditional dental implants require complex surgery and a prolonged healing period, mini implants involve a minimally invasive placement procedure that reduces patient discomfort and facilitates a quick recovery. As a highly trained implant dentist, Dr. Apel can place mini implants in a single visit, and he can often mount the restoration immediately. This allows individuals suffering from tooth loss to instantly regain their chewing ability and renew their self-confidence.
Your VA benefits cover our full catalog of dental procedures, provided you meet the Class I eligibility requirements.
You Supported Us, Now Let Us Support You with VA Dental Care
Understanding your dental benefits can be confusing. At Designing Smiles, we gladly provide free consultations to review your VA benefits and evaluate your dental needs. Whether you need a filling or full-mouth mini dental implants, we can help you feel like you again.
We are eager to serve our nation’s veterans by providing comprehensive VA dental care. If you or someone you love is a veteran needing high-quality dental treatment, contact us today.