Regular dental care is important for your health, but Medicare doesn’t cover it. A dental plan can pay for teeth cleanings, exams, and dental care.
You can buy a plan to have alongside Medicare. Or, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes dental.
In the content below, we’ll discuss the one instance Medicare does cover dental care. We’ll also go over solutions to finding the coverage you need.
Does Medicare Cover Dental
Medicare doesn’t cover routine dental care such as cleanings, fillings, root canals, and extractions. Part A and B will only cover dental services if they’re a necessary part of another medical procedure.
For example, Part B may pay for a dental exam before a kidney transplant or heart valve replacement. Further, Part A covers tooth extractions as part of reconstructive jaw surgery after an accident.
Almost all dental care falls outside these narrow exceptions.
If you want help paying your dental bills, you have three options:
- Medicare Advantage plan that includes dental coverage.
- Standalone dental plan to supplement traditional Medicare.
- Dental discount plan. A discount plan isn’t insurance, but it does give you a discount on services
Does Medicare Cover Dental Exams?
Some companies sell Medicare dental plans–either alone or bundled with Medicare Advantage. Each company’s plans are a little different, and some offer very basic benefits.
Even the most basic plans should cover preventive services like dental exams and x-rays. But, sometimes you’ll have a copay.
Your insurance may pay the full cost of an exam, or you may have to pay part of the bill. Your plan may also require you to choose a primary dentist or use the dentist’s in-network.
If you need a dental exam because you’re having a kidney transplant or heart valve replacement, Part B may cover your exam, but it won’t cover any dental work you need.
Does Medicare Cover Dental Cleanings?
Medicare won’t cover dental cleanings. But, basic dental cleanings are a preventive service that most dental plans cover.
A dentist may suggest an in-depth cleaning, especially if you have gum disease or haven’t had your teeth cleaned in a while.
You may have to pay more for these types of cleanings.
Does Medicare Cover Invisible Aligners?
Invisible aligners like Invisalign help straighten teeth but aren’t as noticeable as braces. Insurance companies usually treat aligners the same as braces.
If your dental insurance includes orthodontic work, it will typically cover aligners.
With that said, it may be hard to find insurance that includes adult orthodontic coverage. And you can expect to pay a percentage of the cost.
Another option is to buy into a dental discount program that offers a discount on aligners.
Does Medicare Cover a Dental Abscess?
An abscess is an infection in your gum or at the root of a tooth. If you develop an abscess, your dentist may perform a root canal or pull the tooth. The dentist may also prescribe antibiotics.
Many dental policies cover root canals, but you’ll have to pay part of the cost. Your Part D plan should pay for antibiotics your dentist prescribes.
If the infection spreads and becomes more severe, Parts B will cover a doctor’s care, and Part A will cover hospitalization.
Does Medicare Cover Dental Surgery?
Some Medicare dental plans cover gum surgery, but you will probably have to pay a percentage of the bill. Also, most dental plans will only pay up to a certain amount in claims each year.
Your surgery may be covered by Medicare if you’re having dental surgery because of an accident or jaw cancer.
Does Medicare Cover Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Medicare won’t pay for wisdom teeth removal, but some dental plans will.
As with any other major dental procedure, you’ll probably have to pay part of the cost.
Does Medicare Cover Dental Implants?
Implants can be a good alternative to dentures, and some Medicare dental plans cover them.
But, you can expect to pay part of the cost of any major dental work, and your dental plan may have a limit on the amount it will pay out in claims each year.
Does Medicare Cover Dentures?
Medicare doesn’t cover dentures, but some dental plans do. Insurance may not pay 100% of the cost of dentures, but it can help lower the bill.
If you need dentures, look for a plan that includes denture coverage.
Medicare Advantage and Dental Coverage
Some Medicare Advantage plans include dental insurance, and others do not. The coverage can vary, with some plans covering only basic services, and others covering a wide range of dental procedures.
Some Medicare Advantage plans include dental coverage. Benefits vary by plan.
Do your research, so you understand what’s included before you sign up for a plan.
Dental Insurance for Seniors on Medicare
Many people find dental bills go up as they get older. Crowns, extractions, gum surgery, implants, and dentures are costly.
A good dental plan can help you stay on top of cleanings and make it easier to afford major procedures.
We can help you find the policy that’s best for you. Just call us or fill out our form to get started.