Does Medicare Cover Dentures?
Medicare generally does not cover dentures or other dental procedures. However, it will cover dental services required for another covered procedure such as reconstructing your jaw after an accidental injury. In most cases, you must pay 100 percent of non-covered dental services, including dentures.
Do Any Medicare Plans Cover Dentures?
Original Medicare — Medicare Part A and Part B — typically does not cover dentures or other dental services.
Some Medicare Advantage plans and other Medicare-related insurance or savings plans may offer options to help pay for dentures or other dental services.
- Medicare Part A
- Medicare Part A does not cover dentures. It will cover dental services necessary as part of a covered procedure. These exceptions include jaw reconstruction following an accident, tooth extractions in preparation for radiation treatment of cancers involving the jaw, and dental examinations (but not treatment) before a kidney transplant or heart valve replacement if done by a hospital.
- Medicare Part B
- Medicare Part B does not cover dentures or routine dental services. It will pay for the same exceptions as Medicare Part A if the procedures are performed by a physician in a facility other than a hospital.
- Medicare Advantage
- Some Medicare Advantage plans may partly cover the cost of dentures. There are hundreds of Medicare Advantage plans available in the United States and benefits vary from plan to plan. You should ask your plan administrator what specific dental services your plan covers and what your share of the cost will be.
- Medigap — also known as Medicare supplemental insurance — does not cover dentures. Medigap pays out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare-approved items, treatments or services. Since Original Medicare does not cover dentures and most dental services, Medigap will not pay for these services either. But you may be able to pay extra premiums for additional dental coverage.
- Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA)
- You can purchase dentures with your Medicare MSA plan. A Medicare Medical Savings Account is managed by a private insurance company. It includes a high deductible and a bank account where you deposit savings to be used for medical expenses. However, the denture costs won’t count toward your deductible.
Medicare Advantage Plans and Dentures
Some Medicare Advantage plans will cover dentures. But when shopping for a Medicare Advantage plan, you should consider your potential dental needs in the future and ask what specific dental services the plan covers.
Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurers that contract with Medicare. These plans are required by law to cover everything Original Medicare covers, but they may include additional benefits such as dental, vision and hearing services.
About 63 percent of Medicare Advantage plans offered some type of dental coverage in 2017, according to a Reuters report. Most cap how much they are willing to pay at around $1,000 to $1,500.
Dentures can cost anywhere from $300 per plate for low-cost dentures to $8,000 for a full set of premium plates, according to denture adhesive maker Fixodent.
- Dentures, crowns, bridges, implants and other prosthodontics
- Dental diagnostic services
- Dental X-rays
- Fillings and other restorative services
- Oral examinations
- Root canal treatment (endodontics)
- Tooth extractions
- Treatment of gum disease and oral inflammation (periodontics)
It’s important to review your Medicare Advantage plan to see what dental services are covered and how much you will have to pay out-of-pocket.
You may have to pay half the cost of the dental services you receive. Many Medicare Advantage plans may only cover Medicare-approved services — putting you on the hook for 100 percent of dental services.
Alternative Options to Pay for Dentures
You can buy senior dental insurance from private insurers to help cover the cost of dentures if you are on Medicare. There are also several options to reduce your out-of-pocket costs or to help you if you have limited income and resources.
- Dental Insurance
- Affordable private dental insurance is available through many major health plans. They generally cover preventive services and cover a portion of dentures and other major dental services.
- Community Health Clinics
- Local community or senior centers can often connect seniors with dental services for people with limited income and financial resources. You can use the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Center finder tool to locate a clinic near you.
- Dental Lifeline Network
- The Dental Lifeline Network is a community service project of the American Dental Association. It provides free dental treatment for the elderly and people with disabilities.
- Dental Schools
- Dental schools offer low-cost dental services that allow dental students to hone their skills. The American Dental Association can help you find a program in your area.
- Dentures and other dental services may be covered by Medicaid if you qualify. You can contact your state Medicaid office to determine your eligibility and what dental services are covered in your state.
- Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly — or PACE for short — is a Medicare and Medicaid program that helps people meet their health care needs in their communities instead of having to move into a nursing home or other facility.
6 Cited Research Articles
- Miller, M. (2018, November 15). How U.S. Seniors on Medicare Can Bridge the Gap in Dental Insurance. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-column-miller-medicare-dental/how-u-s-seniors-on-medicare-can-bridge-the-gap-in-dental-insurance-idUSKCN1NK1EG
- U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2013, November 19). Medicare Dental Coverage. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coverage/MedicareDentalCoverage/index
- U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Dental Services. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/dental-services
- U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). PACE. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/get-help-paying-costs/pace
- National Council on Aging. (n.d.). Medicare and Dental Coverage. Retrieved from https://www.ncoa.org/economic-security/benefits/other-benefits/dental/
- AARP. (n.d.). Does Medicare Cover Dentures? https://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-qa-tool/does-medicare-cover-dentures/