Dentistry Beyond the Battlefield
Dental practice in the battlefield is just one aspect of military dentistry. Dental care must also be provided to military personnel and their families both in the United States and abroad. Since February 1998, dental service for active duty servicemen and women, veterans, National Guard/Reserve servicemen and women, and their families is provided under the subsidized TRICARE health care program that serves 9.4 million members worldwide. Monthly premium rates range from $12.12 (single family member) to $106.02 (family package).
TRICARE Management Activity (TMA) is organized into six regions – three domestic, three overseas. The three domestic regions are TRICARE North Region, which includes Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and portions of Iowa (Rock Island Arsenal area), Missouri (St. Louis area), and Tennessee (Fort Campbell); TRICARE South Region, which includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee (excluding Fort Campbell), and Texas (excluding El Paso); and TRICARE West Region, which includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa (excluding Rock Island Arsenal), Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri (excluding St. Louis), Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas (El Paso and environs), Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The overseas regions are: TRICARE Europe Area (Europe, Africa, Middle East), managed from Sembach Air Base in Germany; TRICARE Latin America and Canada (Central and South America, the Caribbean Basin, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), managed out of Fort Gordon, Ga.; and TRICARE Pacific Area (Guam, Japan, Korea, Asia, New Zealand, India, and Western Pacific), managed from Camp Lester in Okinawa.
Detailed information about all aspects of TRICARE, including eligibility, application forms, contact information, lists of benefits and costs, and much more is available at its website: www.tricare.mil.
In August 2009, TRICARE activated a series of initiatives to improve the accessibility, continuity, coordination, and comprehensiveness of the health care it provides its members. A key component of it is the increased use of electronic medical records to help reduce cost. The result is that military personnel and their families have access to the best in dental service no matter where they are located.