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  • Dental Requirements

    I'm wanting to enlist in the guard and the only thing I'm very worried about is my teeth. I haven't had dental insurance in years and have only recently gone to the dentist to start having things fixed. I've had 2 root canals done and 1 tooth extracted (which is awaiting a very expensive implant that I cannot afford at the moment), but still have a number of "run of the mill" cavities. I don't have any oral diseases, infections or deformities and nothing is affecting my eating or speech...

    Is this something that will have me sent home at reception battalion or will I be able to have these fixed by the army before/after BCT/AIT?

  • #2
    Re: Dental Requirements

    As long as you have teeth and they aren't causing you severe pain, you're pretty much good to go. If during IET you have pain from cavities or anything, you can request to go to dental sick call and get fillings (I had one done during AIT), your wisdom teeth pulled, etc. Just remember that during IET their main concern is getting you back to training right away, so don't expect any frills. It's efficiency, not really comfort, so I'd only suggest it if something is really bothering you.

    As for after IET, my state has paid for a lot of dental procedures to get soldiers in my unit green on their dental readiness. I had cavities filled and wisdom teeth pulled (and they were wonky in-grown, sideways ones) for free in order to get me eligible for deployment. Others had root canals, etc. done. There's also the option of buying the dental insurance for something like $12/month. You don't really miss it coming out of your drill pay (and this is coming from someone who has only drill pay).
    Last edited by MPThink; April 17th, 2011, 11:19 AM. Reason: leaving words out makes comprehension more difficult...

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    • #3
      Re: Dental Requirements

      Really? I'm scheduled to meet with a recruiter next week and was (and still am) going to ask him about this, but your answer has lifted a big weight off of my shoulders. I've already had to jump through hoops to go through with my enlistment process in the past and didn't want to go through so much just to be rejected in the end. Thanks for the reply!

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      • #4
        Re: Dental Requirements

        Originally posted by MPThink View Post
        As long as you have teeth and they aren't causing you severe pain, you're pretty much good to go.

        Wrong. The dentist decides if it looks painful or not. I know soldiers who failed to deploy overseas because of their teeth. It wasn't bothering them, but the Colonel didn't want the tooth to go sweet (c wut i did thar?) down range and then have to go through extensive surgery or pain.

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        • #5
          Re: Dental Requirements

          True, my wisdom teeth never caused me a problem and the teeth I needed fillings in never hurt, but that was for deployment. The extent of anyone checking my teeth to enlist was the MEPS doctor looking quickly and asking, "anything hurt?" Could be different for others?

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          • #6
            Re: Dental Requirements

            Okay, great! I'll be sure to prod my recruiter over whether or not I need to have the ones that appear to being "getting sweet" fixed before I do join up. It just really is tough without dental insurance... I've just spent $2500 on my mouth this last visit and my wallet is very angry with me (although my smile is prettier)! My brother was in the guard and I remember him telling me how the army had all 4 of his wisdom teeth removed at once... That is a necessary evil that I'm not looking forward to! Ha ha.

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            • #7
              Re: Dental Requirements

              Originally posted by olivia.jones View Post
              Okay, great! I'll be sure to prod my recruiter over whether or not I need to have the ones that appear to being "getting sweet" fixed before I do join up. It just really is tough without dental insurance... I've just spent $2500 on my mouth this last visit and my wallet is very angry with me (although my smile is prettier)! My brother was in the guard and I remember him telling me how the army had all 4 of his wisdom teeth removed at once... That is a necessary evil that I'm not looking forward to! Ha ha.
              He would to have been on active orders to avoid footing the bill for that. Look up TriCare Reserve Select for the insurance option(s). You don't just enlist, find the closest dentist and rack up a fortune in dental work. But if your teeth bother you in boot camp, you can go on sick call to see the dentist there. For wisdom teeth, you'll be put on bed rest for 24hrs. Keep this in mind as you don't want to miss necessary training.

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              • #8
                Re: Dental Requirements

                My battle buddy had...I think it was two, taken out during IET and didn't miss any training besides going to dental sick call. She was a bit drowsy for a bit, but that was a common state for her. Hah. Especially during AIT you should have some idea of what you'll be doing the next day or two, so try to pick a less crucial training day to go if you need to.

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                • #9
                  Re: Dental Requirements

                  I just got back from seeing my recruiter and he has told me that in is 6+ years of recruiting that he's never heard of someone being sent home from Reception Battalion due to cavities (and neither has another recruiter at that office). He told me that if by some very small chance my teeth are an issue, I'd only be temporarily disqualified and could have another go at enlisting after I get my mouth into better shape.

                  Just thought I'd throw that out there, LOL.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Dental Requirements

                    I know I'm new here but I just wanted to give my experience since this only happened yesterday. I aced every part of my ASVAB and my physical until it was time to interview with the doctor at MEPS. He took one look at my teeth and immediately disqualified me for enlistment because I have three cavities. I asked him about geting them fixed up at AIT and he dismissed me, saying "Each branch has strict rules about dental hygiene. I cannot allow you to move further along." I wouldn't say I have the best teeth in the world, but I definitely don't have the worst either. All of my teeth are fairly clean except for the few cavities that I have. Nevertheless my questions did nothing to further the process and am now awaiting a waiver to get them fixed. My recruiter also told me that he has never heard someone getting disqualified for their teeth, but I did. Hope this helps any want-to-be enlistees worrying. It really shut me down and made me feel like garbage since I aced every other aspect of the exam and testing.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Dental Requirements

                      Sorry to hear about the set backs. Fortunately, dental issues like cavities are an easy fix. It's not uncommon, either, for applicants to be sent "back" to fix them before being able to continue with MEPS; especially if they are particularly bad cavities. Overall, this will be a good reminder that dental hygiene is important!

                      Good luck with the rest of your enlistment! Let us know how it goes.

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