Service connection of dental conditions for treatment purposes.
(a) Treatable carious teeth, replaceable missing teeth, dental or alveolar abscesses, and periodontal disease will be considered service-connected solely for the purpose of establishing eligibility for outpatient dental treatment as provided in § 17.161 of this chapter.
(b) The rating activity will consider each defective or missing tooth and each disease of the teeth and periodontal tissues separately to determine whether the condition was incurred or aggravated in line of duty during active service. When applicable, the rating activity will determine whether the condition is due to combat or other in-service trauma, or whether the veteran was interned as a prisoner of war.
(c) In determining service connection, the condition of teeth and periodontal tissues at the time of entry into active duty will be considered. Treatment during service, including filling or extraction of a tooth, or placement of a prosthesis, will not be considered evidence of aggravation of a condition that was noted at entry, unless additional pathology developed after 180 days or more of active service.
(d) The following principles apply to dental conditions noted at entry and treated during service:
(1) Teeth noted as normal at entry will be service-connected if they were filled or extracted after 180 days or more of active service.
(2) Teeth noted as filled at entry will be service-connected if they were extracted, or if the existing filling was replaced, after 180 days or more of active service.
(3) Teeth noted as carious but restorable at entry will not be service-connected on the basis that they were filled during service. However, new caries that developed 180 days or more after such a tooth was filled will be service-connected.
(4) Teeth noted as carious but restorable at entry, whether or not filled, will be service-connected if extraction was required after 180 days or more of active service.
(5) Teeth noted at entry as non-restorable will not be service-connected, regardless of treatment during service.
(6) Teeth noted as missing at entry will not be service connected, regardless of treatment during service.
(e) The following will not be considered service-connected for treatment purposes:
(2) Acute periodontal disease;
(3) Third molars, unless disease or pathology of the tooth developed after 180 days or more of active service, or was due to combat or in-service trauma; and
(4) Impacted or malposed teeth, and other developmental defects, unless disease or pathology of these teeth developed after 180 days or more of active service.
(f) Teeth extracted because of chronic periodontal disease will be service-connected only if they were extracted after 180 days or more of active service.
(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1712)
[64 FR 30393, June 8, 1999]
Title 38 published on 2012-07-01
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