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Home Knowledge CenterDoes Medicare Cover Dental?

Does Medicare Cover Dental?

The world of Medicare can be confusing in general. When it comes to Medicare dental coverage, it can be difficult to know what options are available to you.

If you’re focused on oral care, then it’s important to know if Medicare covers dental. Take a look at the types of Medicare and how they may or may cover dental costs.

Does Medicare cover dental care services?

Yes and no. Original Medicare doesn’t cover most dental care, and there are not Medicare dental plans to purchase. If you’re shopping for coverage for routine dental services, such as teeth cleaning and X-rays, and more specialized treatments for fillings, extractions, dentures, and more, then Original Medicare doesn’t cover those dental services. However, there are ways to obtain dental coverage under some types of Medicare plans.

What are some types of Medicare dental coverage?

There are many types of Medicare and they differ in what kind (if any) dental coverage they offer.

Dental coverage with Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called Part C, combine Original Medicare Part A and Part B into one complete plan. These plans are offered through private insurance companies approved by the government Medicare program. These plans may also offer extra programs and services not covered by Original Medicare, such as dental coverage. Some plans may also include Part D prescription drug coverage and vision.

Medicare Advantage Plans work similarly to traditional health plans in cost and coverage. For example, there are HMOs, PPOs, POS plans, and more. They can include deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.

But not all Medicare Advantage Plans cover dental care. So before you sign up, make sure to read the details of what the plan covers. If you want Medicare dental coverage, then make sure the Medicare Advantage Plan you choose covers the dental care services that you need.

Dental coverage with original Medicare, Part A and Part B

Original Medicare is composed of Part A, which is hospital insurance, and Part B, medical insurance. The only instance in which Original Medicare might cover any dental services is if you suffered a traumatic injury that also affected your jaw, teeth, or mouth and had to be hospitalized. Then, Original Medicare may cover some of that dental care.

Understanding exactly what your Medicare plan would cover is important to know before accidents occur.

Dental coverage with Medicare Supplement Insurance Policies

Medicare Supplement Insurance policies do not offer dental coverage. These plans do, however, help with out-of-pocket costs not covered by Original Medicare.

Need dental coverage?

Cigna offers a variety of affordable dental plans, from basic plans that cover preventive care to plans that help cover major dental care.
Explore our dental plans

Comparing dental coverage under Medicare

In summary, here are the types of Medicare, what they cover, and if dental coverage is available:

Type of Medicare
What’s Covered
Dental Coverage Available?
Original Medicare (Part A and Part B)
  • Part A – Hospital Insurance
  • Part B - Medical
(exception: may be covered if hospitalized due to a serious accident that also affects mouth, jaw, face)
Medicare Advantage (Part C)
  • Part A – Hospital Insurance
  • Part B– Medical Insurance

May also include:
  • Part D prescription drug coverage
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Extra programs not covered by Original Medicare
(Not all Medicare Advantage Plans include dental, however; check plan details before enrolling)
Medicare Supplement Insurance
Costs not covered by Original Medicare (copays, deductibles, coinsurance)

What dental care services are covered by Medicare?

When it comes to Medicare and dental coverage, only Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) may offer dental coverage and not all of them do. This coverage is typically basic and could include:

  • Teeth cleaning
  • Routine X-rays
  • Extractions
  • Fillings
  • And possibly more

Make sure to review all details of any Medicare Advantage Plan before you enroll. Plans may differ based on the insurance company and even your location. Dental coverage often comes with limits on how many dental care services are covered in a plan year, maximum cost allowances, and more.

How do you get dental coverage if Medicare doesn’t include it?

If you’re on a Medicare plan that’s working for you and doesn’t offer dental coverage, there are other options you may consider.

Buy a separate dental insurance plan

You can purchase a standalone dental plan from a private insurance company. There are many types of dental insurance plans to choose from, usually with affordable monthly premiums. Basic dental plans may offer you coverage for preventive dental care with lower monthly premiums. Other plans may provide more dental coverage for a little higher premium. Standalone dental plans usually include deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.

Find a walk-in dental clinic

Many cities have walk-in dental clinics that are relatively affordable. Depending on where you live and what kind of dental services you need, you may be able to find affordable dental care even if it means paying out-of-pocket.

Check with your state department of health

Your state department of health may have an oral health page that includes information on where you can get low-cost dental care in your region.

Visit a local dental school

If you have a dental school or dental university program nearby, you can contact them to see if they offer any free or low-cost dental clinics to members of the community.

Consider an HSA if you have a high deductible plan

Before age 65, you may consider opening a Health Savings Account (HSA) if you have a high deductible health plan. Once you enroll in Medicare you can no longer contribute to the fund, but you can certainly use what you’ve saved to help pay for covered expenses, including eligible dental care.

Why is dental coverage important?

Oral health is an important part of living a healthy life. If you’re looking for Medicare dental coverage, some kinds of Medicare Advantage Plans may offer basic dental coverage, but not all. Original Medicare doesn’t include dental.

There are also plenty of standalone dental plans to consider. Shop carefully and make sure to read the details of any plan before you enroll.


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