Seniors have more vulnerable teeth compared to younger people such as teens and adults. That means to maintain good dental health it is usually necessary to regularly visit a dentist. However, some dental services are not cheap and not everyone who needs them can easily afford them. 

So a common question many people have is, “does Medicare cover dental?” In this article, we answer that question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of routine dental services and other helpful info.

Does Medicare Cover Dental?

The short answer is no. In most cases, Medicare will not cover the cost of routine dental services and care. That said, there may be some situations where you can get these costs covered. Below we’ll take a closer look at this to see when you might be able to get Medicare to pay for your routine dental service and care. 

Original Medicare

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not provide coverage for routine dental services and care. That means you will have to pay 100 percent for your routine dental services and care. Original Medicare does not provide coverage for dental services such as tooth extractions, dentures, and routine dental checkups. 

However, in some cases, Original Medicare may provide coverage for some dental and services. For Original Medicare to provide coverage for your dental services and care, it must be medically necessary to treat a medical condition.

If you require dental service as part of treatment for your overall health rather than for your dental health, Original Medicare may provide coverage for it. Original Medicare may provide coverage for your dental care if you require:

  • An oral examination in a hospital just before your kidney transplant 
  • An oral examination in a rural clinic or Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) just before your heart valve replacement
  • Any dental services for your radiation treatment for certain jaw-related diseases
  • A ridge reconstruction when a facial tumor is removed
  • Surgery to treat fractures of the jaw or face
  • Dental splints and wiring after jaw surgery

Part C Coverage for Dental

However, many Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) provide coverage for routine dental care and services. Medicare Advantage plans cover everything Original Medicare covers and also typically offer some additional benefits. Dental being one of the most common.

Medicare Advantage plans may include coverage for routine dental exams, fillings, dental x-rays, tooth extraction and more. Some may even offer some coverage for dentures and dental implants. However, coverage and out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on the specifics of your plan.

How Much Do Dental Services Cost?

The exact cost of a dental service will vary depending on the type of service you need. Here are some common dental services:

  • Tooth Extraction – $75 – $450
  • Cavity Filling – $50 – $300
  • Dental Bridging – $1,000 – $3,500
  • Dental Implants – $1,000 – $3,000

Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Always be sure to double check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.

Additional Info on Medicare Coverage

This article is part of our series on “What does Medicare cover?”

Also, you can check out other articles in this series including: Does Medicare cover acupuncture?

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