It can be frustrating trying to search for a general dentist that accepts TRICARE near you. For the most part, the TRICARE dental program is not advertised clearly, which is how most insurance companies are accepted at dental offices in the first place. Those who do list many private insurance companies, often neglect to mention that they also accept TRICARE as part of the patient’s dental plan.
You can overcome this roadblock in a few different ways. With a little research and the use of modern technology, you will get your smile fixed fast with little to no cost out-of-pocket!
Finding a Dentist Through the Tricare Website
One of the great things about TRICARE dental being run by the government instead of privately is that all of the information you may need can be found on the TRICARE website. The first thing you should do on the website is to figure out which plan you are covered for. This may affect where you need to go for your dental needs. Here is some of the information you may find useful:
- The dental program is for active duty military members
- The dental program is available to spouses and children of active duty members
- The dental program is available to surviving members of deceased military members
- The program is for reserve members and families
- The program is for retired service members and their families
If you are an active duty service member in the military, then you will most likely be going to a military-run hospital first. In most cases, this costs nothing. However, if you are referred to a civilian dentist, then you will simply go where they send you.
The Process for Finding a Dentist through “Find a Doctor”
In most cases, which do not apply to active duty service members, simply input your relevant information into a program called “Find a Doctor.” This will ask you the following:
- In which country do you currently reside?
- What is your ZIP code?
- Which plan you are using for the medical care you need? (In this case, you choose a plan from the list that you have enrolled in based on your status.)
After you give the site your information, simply click on the “Find a Dentist” button. It will redirect you to a site in which you put in your city or ZIP code again. Once you do that, you will be shown where on a map the dentists who cover TRICARE insurance work. If you click on these bubbles on the map, you will get more specific information about who your dentist would be and what they cover in the area of dentistry.
Search a Provider Directory
If you would prefer to look for a dentist manually through a directory, each plan has a list of providers available according to the region you reside in. There are two regions in the network: East and West. There is also a list of military hospitals and overseas providers.
Start on this page and progress from there. The list details out the available providers from different categories:
- Network providers (who do accept TRICARE insurance and covers most costs)
- Non-network providers (meaning you may have to pay more out-of-pocket for their services)
- Military hospitals and clinics (where you will not likely have to pay anything for your procedure)
- Overseas providers (these are qualified professionals outside of the United States)
- US Family Health Plan providers (only available to those who are enrolled in this specific plan)
- Dental care providers also have their own category, but you may be able to find their services in the above categories as well
Contact Your TRICARE Provider for Help
In order to find the right dentist for your plan, you need to know the benefits you will be eligible for.
If you have any questions about your benefits, then you should send an email TRICARE and someone will be able to contact you and help you figure out which dentist you can go to, based on which benefits you are covered under. Start by filling out a form here on their website.
If you need answers in a timely manner than an email may provide, you can always call representatives in your region. If you start here on the website and select the same relevant information, you will be directed to the specific phone number you need to find someone who will answer your questions or concerns.
Research Dentists Around You
One of the most useful resources you have aside from the TRICARE website is Google Maps. If you search for a dentist, a list will pop up of practices. If the office provided one to the Maps directory, you will get a link to their website or their number.
On a dental office’s website, they may have a tab detailing which insurance companies they will accept and which services the insurance will cover. Not all practices have this, but it is always useful to look first. This way, you will have the information you need to make an appointment with no waiting time for a call.
However, if the office does not provide a website for you to do your research on, simply call the office when it is open. Even if you have to wait, hang on until someone can speak to you. When you reach someone who can answer your questions at the office, ask them if they accept TRICARE. This is the most direct route to the answer but it can be inconvenient.
If you do not have the number of the office, Google Maps will at least tell you how to get there. If you have to, go into different dental offices and speak with the secretary. Ask the same question you would about whether your care will be covered and they should answer readily. If they do not know, you are better off seeking dental care elsewhere.
Call a Help Line
If you are still having issues finding a dentist who will accept TRICARE near you, call us toll-free for help: 1 (855) 282-1699. The sooner you fix your smile, the better you will feel!