In a letter, the ADA urged Congress to increase funding for VA Dentistry to meet the increased need from qualifying veterans.

The American Dental Association urged Congress to provide additional funding and resources to the Department of Veterans Affairs Dentistry to meet the dental care needs of all eligible veterans in a March 28 letter.

ADA president George R. Shepley, DDS, and executive director Raymond A. Cohlmia, DDS, requested that Congress provide $1.25 billion in funding—$50 million above the fiscal year 2023 enacted level.

The ADA noted in the letter that “because funding and resources for VA Dentistry has not kept up with the increase in veterans eligible for VA dental benefits, real access to care is threatened by VA Dentistry’s lack of funding and resources.”

Shepley and Cohlmia also asked Congress to set aside dedicated funding for the program so that the money appropriated for VA Dentistry is not used elsewhere in the VA.

The letter requests that Congress provide “guidance to the VA in report language that the Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Dentistry be at the same executive level as other Assistant Under Secretaries at the VA, and reports directly to the Under Secretary.”

The ADA expects the change to help ensure the Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Dentistry has the authority and resources to provide outstanding care for veterans.