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Emergency Dental Assistance with TRICARE


FALLS CHURCH, Va. – January 03, 2011 While dental emergencies occur far less often than other health-related traumas, it is wise for TRICARE beneficiaries to be prepared and know their dental options.

Beneficiaries fit into one of three programs for care: the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP), the Active Duty Dental Program (ADDP) or the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP).

TDP allows beneficiaries traveling within the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands to visit any participating network dentist for emergencies. Beneficiaries can find a participating dentist online or call United Concordia at 1-800-866-8499. If traveling outside the United States, beneficiaries can select a dentist using the Overseas Host Nation Provider Directory Search Tool www.tricaredentalprogram.com/tdptws/enrollees/hnp/hnp_search.jsp. Beneficiaries may have to pay up-front for care and file a claim with United Concordia for reimbursement.

Active duty service members (ADSMs) should first seek emergency dental care at the nearest military dental clinic. If service members are traveling on leave or duty-related orders, they can get care without a referral. ADSMs can receive emergency treatment from any civilian dentist; however the recommendation is to get care from a network dentist as follow-up care with a non-network dentist is not authorized. ADSMs should contact United Concordia at 1-866-984-2337 to let them know about the treatment.

Retirees enrolled in the TRDP can visit any licensed dentist within the service area for treatment. Selecting a dentist from the dentist network saves money and the dentist will file the claims. If traveling overseas, beneficiaries should search a list of dentists and dental clinics in every country, provided through Delta Dental's international dentist referral service. For more information, contact Delta Dental, at 1-888-838-8737 or visit the website www.trdp.org/.

Some tips TRICARE beneficiaries can use when dealing with dental emergencies include:

  • Broken Tooth - Rinse mouth with warm water to clean the area surrounding the affected tooth. Apply a cold compress to reduce the swelling. See a dentist as soon as possible.
  • Cut/Bitten Tongue or Lip - Clean the area with a cloth. Apply a cold compress to reduce the swelling. If the affected area continues to bleed or swell, the beneficiary should see a local emergency room physician immediately.
  • Food/Objects Caught Between Teeth - Use dental floss to try gently removing the object. If this is not successful, the beneficiary should consult a dentist.
  • Knocked-Out Tooth - Retrieve the tooth, if possible, and hold it by the crown. Do not try to clean the tooth or touch the root. If possible, place the tooth back in its socket. If not, place the tooth in a container of milk or water and immediately see a dentist. Baby teeth (primary teeth) should not be reinserted.
  • Toothache - When experiencing a toothache, beneficiaries should rinse their mouth with warm water and check to make sure that food or other objects have not become lodged in the area surrounding the affected tooth. Also, be sure not to rub aspirin or painkillers on the area surrounding the toothache as this can result in a burn on the mouth. See a dentist as soon as possible.

For information on preparing a “dental emergency kit” go to www.tricaredentalprogram.com/tdpforms/DentalERKit.pdf. For specific information about TRICARE dental coverage, visit www.tricare.mil/mybenefit/home/Dental/MyDentalCoverage

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