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Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith

Medicare and dental care


Dental 1 1 Medicare and dental careShort answer

Medicare does not pay for dental services.

Medicare does not pay for preventative dental care, such as cleanings and fillings, that are necessary for your teeth’s health.

  • Regular examinations
  • Cleanings
  • Fillings
  • Partial or full dentures and bridges
  • Extraction of teeth (having teeth extracted) is a common dental procedure.

Unless you have private dental insurance or are using a free or low-cost dental resource, the complete cost of any dental care you receive will be on your shoulders. It bears repeating that Medicare will not cover or reimburse you for preventive dental care.


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Please take note that some Medicare Advantage Plans will pay for your regular dental examinations and cleanings. Contact your Medicare Advantage Plan to find out if any of your dental care costs will be covered.

Medicare does not cover dental care that is solely for tooth health, but it does provide some coverage for dental care that is necessary for the protection of overall health or for the success of another Medicare-covered health service. Such examples of expenses that Medicare might reimburse for include:

  • Hospital pre-transplant oral evaluation for kidney recipients
  • A pre-heart-valve-replacement oral evaluation at a rural clinic or FQHC
  • Radiation therapy for disorders of the jaw often requires dental care (like oral cancer)
  • When a tumor is removed from the face, the surgeon will often undertake a procedure called ridge reconstruction, which involves reconstructing the ridge (or part) of
  • Treatment for facial and jaw fractures with surgical intervention.
  • Wiring and dental splints are needed after jaw surgery.

However, once the underlying health condition has been treated, Medicare will no longer pay for any further dental care, even if it was covered initially. If you lost a tooth in a car accident and needed surgery to restore your face, Medicare might pay for the surgery, but it wouldn’t cover any further dental care you might need as a result of losing that tooth.

Hospitalizations for dental care are covered by Medicare, too. The following are some examples of what Medicare might pay for:

  • If you have a serious medical condition and need to be monitored while getting dental work done, this is called “observation.”


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Medicare will pay for the patient’s stay in the hospital if one of these conditions applies (including room and board, anesthesia, and x-rays). It won’t pay for your dentist’s services or those of other doctors like radiologists or anesthesiologists. Dentures and other dental work are never covered by Original Medicare, so even if you’re hospitalized, Medicare won’t pay for them.

You should investigate any options for dental insurance or funding that you may have. Dental specialists’ typical fees for various procedures can be estimated with the help of FAIR Health’s consumer cost lookup tool.

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