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Does Medicare Cover Dental Health?

En español | Original Medicare has no dental plan. It does not cover most routine dental services such as exams, cleanings and X-rays; procedures related to dental health including fillings, extractions, root canals; or dentures and other dental devices.

However, original Medicare can pay some costs associated with emergency or medically necessary dental care.

For example, Medicare Part A, which includes hospital insurance, could cover having teeth pulled in preparation for radiation treatment of jaw cancer, or in-patient care if you need a complicated or emergency dental procedure while in the hospital, such as jaw reconstruction after an accident.

If you rely on Medicare and want coverage for regular oral care, look into Medicare Advantage plans. These policies, offered by private insurance companies, include all original Medicare coverage and often have extra benefits such as dental services (although you will likely pay an additional premium beyond what you pay for original Medicare).

Another option is Medicare Supplemental Insurance, better known as Medigap. These plans, also sold by private insurers, cover some out-of-pocket costs for Medicare treatment. They do not specifically include extra benefits, but some Medigap providers offer clients options for dental coverage, or discounts on out-of-pocket costs for oral care. If you have Medigap, ask if your provider offers related dental benefits.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 15, 2015. It has been updated with the latest information regarding Medicare coverage in 2020.


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