Medicare can certainly be a hard type of coverage to navigate. There are so many parts to it and so many plans that you could find your head spinning trying to determine what is covered, what is not, which parts you need and which you do not. One thing that many people would wonder would be whether or not Medicare covers dental care. This is a very good question. Of course, the answer is quite detailed. There are several things that you will need to know about Medicare and dental coverage.
In Essence, the Answer is No
Overall, Medicare does not cover dental. There is no specific policy that indicates that it will cover any sort of dental care. In fact, routine dental care, like cleanings, exams, x-rays, fillings and crowns, will not be covered under any part of Medicare. More expensive things like bridges and tooth extractions will not be covered either.
This means that if you are on Medicare, then you will be responsible for the cost of your routine dental care unless you make the decision to get supplemental dental insurance. It is important that you are aware of this before you make the decision to get dental care. Take a look at these inexpensive/free options:
- National Association of Free Clinics
- Dentist Care Foundation of Mercy
- Dental Research Programs Directory - you’d have to volunteer for different types of trials
- You can also look into different Dental Colleges and find out if they are taking patients
- There are also a number of discount networks that don’t cost much like www.dentalplans.com
There are Exceptions
Of course, as with anything, there are exceptions to this. While Medicare does not cover dental per se, there are situations in which some dental care will actually be covered if you have Medicare Part A. If you have this part of the Medicare coverage, then it is a good idea that you are aware of the types of dental care that would be covered. They are very specific.
- If you need radiation treatment in your jaw, then it may be necessary to extract teeth. This extraction would be covered if you do have Medicare Part A.
- If you need to have a kidney transplant, then part of the preparation will be to have a dental examination. Generally, Medicare Part A will cover this examination.
- If you have either of the two covered situations mentioned above and then you have any sort of complications from the procedure, then Medicare Part A will generally cover the cost of the dental treatment needed for these complications. However, the complications treatments must be performed by the same dentist that has been approved by Medicare for the coverage to be available.
- Finally, if you have an emergency dental situation that results in a hospital stay, then Medicare may pay for the hospital cost. It will not pay for any of the dental procedures due to the emergency, but the hospital stay could be covered. This is something that you will have to discuss with a Medicare representative to determine what type of dental emergencies will actually be covered.
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan through Most Medicare, then there are other dental services that may be covered depending on the exact plan that you have. You will need to consult with your representative to determine what is covered by your specific plan. Some services that may be covered would include the following:
- Emergency oral surgery
- Care for periodontal disease
What are Your Options?
Dental care can be expensive and since Medicare will not cover it, you must be wondering what options you have. The good thing is that there are supplemental dental coverages that will help defray some of the expense associated with routine dental care.
Medicare does not actually cover dental, so you should make other plans for your cost of routine dental care. However, knowing what specific dental situations may be covered by your Medicare plan is something that is important for you.