According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, oral health starts at home with brushing your teeth twice a day and using floss. Your teeth and mouth are also healthier when you limit sugary snacks and don’t smoke or chew tobacco. However, you should also see your dentist regularly. Regular dental cleanings and exams can help prevent gum disease and other oral health problems, according to the Mayo Clinic. According to the New York Times, an annual dental cleaning may be adequate for most adults, but those with higher risk of periodontal disease may need to go more often. Read on to learn about Medicare dental coverage.

What dental coverage does Medicare cover?

Medicare may only pay for procedures on your mouth if you have emergency or complicated dental procedures. For example, if you need your jaw reconstructed following an injury or accident, Medicare may cover this.

According to, in the United States dental coverage is considered an essential health benefit for children, but not an essential health benefit for adults. Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does not cover most routine dental care including:

  • Cleanings
  • Fillings
  • Tooth extractions
  • Dentures
  • Dental plates
  • Other dental devices

Dental coverage options with Medicare Advantage Plan

A Medicare Advantage plan may cover routine dental care such as cleanings, X-rays, and fillings. Medicare Advantage (also called Medicare Part C) is another way to get your Medicare benefits through a private insurance company. Medicare Advantage plans must cover everything that Original Medicare covers (except hospice care which is still covered by Part A) and may include additional benefits as well, such as dental, vision, and prescription drug insurance.

How else can I get dental coverage when I have Medicare?

If you want to stick with Original Medicare, you can get a stand-alone dental insurance plan to complement your Medicare coverage. This stand-alone plan will not be part of your Medicare coverage and you may have to pay a premium, deductible and coinsurance for it separate from your Medicare costs.

If your spouse is employed and covered by group health insurance, you also may be able to get dental coverage through your spouse’s employer.

Do you have more questions about Medicare dental coverage?

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