Published: 7/17/2022

Unfortunately, most types of dental work aren’t covered under Original Medicare. This includes procedures such as fillings, dentures, X-rays, routine cleanings and tooth extractions. However, under certain circumstances, dental work done in a hospital setting is covered. Additionally, some Medicare Advantage plans offer additional coverage for dental care.

Medicare Can Cover Some Emergency Dental Procedures

Usually, dental work isn’t covered by Medicare Parts A and B, which are known as Original Medicare. However, Medicare Part A covers emergency dental procedures that are necessary to treat traumatic injuries to the teeth, face and jaw. Since Medicare Part A is hospital insurance, the work must be done in a hospital setting to be eligible. Original Medicare also covers hospital stays related to urgent and complex dental work, although the procedures themselves aren’t covered.

Medicare Advantage Plans Provide Additional Coverage

Medicare Advantage plans are offered by Medicare-approved private insurers and often provide additional coverage not available through Original Medicare. These plans cover different things depending on the provider, but many Medicare Advantage plans offer drug coverage, which can help lower the costs of certain dental visits. Additionally, many of these plans cover diagnostic and preventative services, including routine checkups, cleanings and X-rays. Comprehensive plans may cover more complicated procedures, such as dentures, implants, fillings and root canals. However, each Medicare Advantage Plan is different, and those interested should take a close look at what’s covered under each individual plan.

To help pay for dental care, private dental insurance plans are available. Low-income seniors may also be eligible for Medicaid, a medical insurance program operated by federal and state governments that offers coverage for dental care in some cases for people with limited incomes. Currently, under half of U.S. states offer adult dental coverage as part of their Medicaid programs.