FALLS CHURCH, Va. –
Did you know there’s a link between the health of your gums and teeth and the health of your body? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
, chronic diseases, like diabetes, may increase your risk for periodontitis. It’s a type of gum disease that causes severe gum infection and can lead to tooth loss. That means it’s especially important for those with chronic medical conditions to practice good oral health
and see the dentist as directed. And that’s where the TRICARE Dental Program
(TDP) can help.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition, you qualify for additional dental services when you register with the TDP Wellness Program
How does the TDP Wellness Program work?
The TDP Wellness Program provides enhanced dental benefits to help you treat periodontal disease. They come at no extra cost. To qualify, you must have a diagnosis of one of the following conditions:
- Heart disease
- Oral cancer
- Organ transplant
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Covered gum disease services your dentist may recommend include an additional periodontal maintenance service per year and scaling and root planning
, which is a deep cleaning of your teeth to remove tarter and plaque underneath your gums and on the root of your tooth. Depending on the severity of your gum disease, your dentist may recommend periodontal surgery. Your wellness benefit covers up to four of these periodontal procedures.
“Getting the proper care and treatment for gum disease is vital,” said Doug Elsesser, program analyst with the Defense Health Agency’s TRICARE Dental Program. “So, we encourage all eligible TDP enrollees to explore their dental care options through the TDP Wellness Program.”
You may or may not need these extra services, but your dentist can recommend which procedures can help the condition of your mouth. Enrollees who are pregnant are automatically eligible for an additional third dental cleaning in a consecutive 12-month period with the TDP Wellness Program.
If you have any questions about covered services, you can contact the TDP contractor, United Concordia Companies, Inc
How do I sign up for the TDP Wellness Program?
In order to take advantage of your wellness benefits, you’ll need to first register online
through My Account. The process is quick and easy. To get started, follow these steps below:
- Go to the TDP website and log in to “My Account” with your Level 2 DS Logon.
- Next, select “Manage My Wellness.”
- Add your medical condition.
Don’t have a Level 2 DS Logon? Visit Using a DS Logon
to obtain one or upgrade the one you have. Once you’re registered with the TDP Wellness Program, talk to your dentist about your medical condition and your additional TDP benefits. Remember, you can register to use the TDP Wellness Program any time after your TDP coverage starts.
As you make your dental care a priority, don’t forget to practice good oral hygiene while at home. Issue 2 of the TRICARE Dental Program Health Matters Newsletter
is full of tips to keep your teeth healthy and strong. And the TDP Dental Health Center
has several wellness fact sheets to help you maximize your oral health if you have a chronic condition.
“These wellness fact sheets highlight the connection between oral health and diabetes, heart disease, and many other chronic conditions,” Elsesser added. “It’s another great resource for those enrolled in the TDP Wellness Program.”
To learn more about the TDP Wellness Program, visit the TDP website
. Need help finding a dentist near you? Use the Find a Dentist
resource. And be sure to check out the TRICARE Dental Program Handbook
for a look at other TDP covered services to help you take command of your dental health.