Does Medicare Cover Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges are not covered by Original Medicare (Part A & B) unless it is deemed medically necessary. Other insurance options, such as Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and private dental insurance, may cover dental bridge procedures and while lowering your out-of-pocket costs.

Lindsey Crossmier, writer for RetireGuide
  • Written by
    Lindsey Crossmier

    Lindsey Crossmier

    Financial Writer

    Lindsey Crossmier is an accomplished writer with experience working for The Florida Review and Bookstar PR. As a financial writer, she covers Medicare, life insurance and dental insurance topics for RetireGuide. Research-based data drives her work.

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  • Edited By
    Lamia Chowdhury
    Lamia Chowdhury, editor for RetireGuide.com

    Lamia Chowdhury

    Financial Editor

    Lamia Chowdhury is a financial content editor for RetireGuide and has over three years of marketing experience in the finance industry. She has written copy for both digital and print pieces ranging from blogs, radio scripts and search ads to billboards, brochures, mailers and more.

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  • Published: April 26, 2022
  • Updated: September 21, 2022
  • 5 min read time
  • This page features 10 Cited Research Articles
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APA Crossmier, L. (2022, September 21). Does Medicare Cover Dental Bridges? RetireGuide.com. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/services/dental/bridges/

MLA Crossmier, Lindsey. "Does Medicare Cover Dental Bridges?" RetireGuide.com, 21 Sep 2022, https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/services/dental/bridges/.

Chicago Crossmier, Lindsey. "Does Medicare Cover Dental Bridges?" RetireGuide.com. Last modified September 21, 2022. https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/services/dental/bridges/.

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Dental Bridge Coverage at a Glance
Medicare PlanDental Bridge Coverage
Part A (Inpatient) Not covered except in rare circumstances.
Part B (Outpatient) Not covered except in rare circumstances.
Part C (Medicare Advantage) Some Medicare Advantage plans may offer options to help pay for dental bridges.
Part D (Prescription Drugs) N/A
Supplemental InsuranceSpecific plans may help cover out-of-pocket costs for a dental bridge. Coverage varies by plan.

Do Medicare Parts A & B Cover Dental Bridges?

Original Medicare (Parts A and B) typically do not cover dental bridges. Original Medicare has never covered dental services unless it is under severe circumstances.

For example, Part A, which covers inpatient hospital care, may cover a dental bridge procedure if you are hospitalized for a dental issue. Similarly, if a dental bridge procedure was deemed medically necessary in an outpatient setting, then Part B would provide coverage.

Since most dental bridge procedures are considered cosmetic, they are typically not covered under Original Medicare.

The cost for a dental bridge without insurance range between $500 to $5000 per unit, depending on the type of bridge you require.

Types of Bridges and Costs
Traditional fixed crown and bridge
$500 to $1500 per unit
Bonded bridge
$700 to $2300
Implant supported bridge
$5000 for a two-implant, three-unit bridge

The Medicare Part A deductible is $1,556 and Part B deductible is $233. Should Medicare cover your dental bridge procedure, know that you must meet your deductible before your coverage kicks in.

Did you know?
Dental bridges typically last 10 to 15 years, with some lasting up to 20 years. Good oral hygiene and routine checkups can help expand the life span of your dental bridge.

You can determine whether Medicare coverage will approve your dental bridge procedure by understanding the exceptions that deem it medically necessary.

Exceptions When Medicare Covers Dental Bridges

Original Medicare will only cover a dental bridge if it is required to perform another Medicare-covered service or if the dental procedure requires hospitalization.

For example, if you suffer a serious face injury and require facial reconstruction, a dental bridge will likely be covered by Original Medicare.

Dental Exceptions for Original Medicare
  • Reconstruction of your jaw or face
  • Preparation for radiation treatment
  • Neoplastic diseases in your jaw
  • Oral exams to prep for a kidney or heart valve replacement
Source: U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

If your current condition doesn’t fall under any of the exceptions listed, then you may find coverage under another plan.

Preview to the New to Medicare PDF New to Signing Up for Medicare?
Medicare can be confusing. This free PDF will help guide you through the many enrollment periods, penalties and Medicare's "alphabet soup" of plans.

Does Medicare Advantage Cover Dental Bridges?

Many Medicare Advantage plans cover dental bridges. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 94% of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries have access to dental coverage.

Most Medicare Advantage plans offer 100% coverage for preventive dental services such as teeth cleanings and oral exams. Extensive treatments, such as dental bridges, are usually 50% to 80% covered.

A traditional fixed crown and bridge normally costs around $500 without coverage — with Medicare Advantage, your cost could be reduced by half.

Dental Services Medicare Advantage Covers
  • Dental bridges and crowns
  • Fillings
  • Dental extractions
  • Root canals
  • Dental implants
  • Dental exams
  • X-rays
  • Routine cleaning
Source: UnitedHealthcare Services

Confirm that your Medicare Advantage plan covers dental bridges before undergoing a procedure to avoid unexpected costs. On the rare occasion a dental bridge is not covered, there are still alternative options to help reduce costs.

Other Options for Dental Bridge Coverage

Private dental insurance and most Medicaid plans offer dental coverage. Note that these insurance options are separate from Medicare, meaning you would have to manage multiple premiums and plans at once.

While private dental insurance plans cost between $20 to $60 a month, Medicaid dental coverage and costs are determined by state.

The Center for Health Care Strategies provides a chart with each state’s Medicaid coverage, costs and restrictions. Most states offer coverage for emergency dental procedures for adults, but less than half of states offer comprehensive dental care, which includes dental bridges.

As for private dental insurance, you will have monthly premiums and possibly deductibles and coinsurance costs as well. Since a dental bridge is not considered a preventive service, there is likely additional costs involved for this procedure.

If your state doesn’t offer Medicaid coverage for dental bridges or if private dental insurance is too costly for you, there are lower-cost options available.

How to Get a Dental Bridge Without Insurance

There are reduced-cost options for those without coverage, such as dental schools, community health clinics and the dental lifeline network.

Getting a Dental Bridge Without Insurance
Dental school
A dental bridge procedure at a dental school typically costs 25% to 50% less than a traditional dentist office. The price will range depending on what type of bridge you choose, the type of materials used and how many units you need.
Dental lifeline network
If the dental lifeline network approves you for a dental bridge, your procedure could be free. However, there is an application and a waiting list to be approved. If you have Medicaid dental coverage, you must use Medicaid coverage before applying to the dental lifeline network.
Community health clinic
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Resources lists community health clinics that offer reduced-cost, or even free, dental care. Coverage varies by procedure, so be sure to review pricing before selecting a clinic.
Last Modified: September 21, 2022

10 Cited Research Articles

  1. UnitedHealthcare Services. (2022, April 12). Dental Coverage with Medicare Advantage. Retrieved from https://www.aarpmedicareplans.com/shop/medicare-advantage-plans/ma-dental-benefits.html
  2. Dentaly. (2022, March 31). Dental Bridge Cost, Materials, Problems, Benefits, and Alternatives. Retrieved from https://www.dentaly.org/us/dental-bridge-information/
  3. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2021, December 1). Medicare Dental Coverage. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coverage/MedicareDentalCoverage
  4. Freed, M. et al. (2021, July 28). Medicare and Dental Coverage: A Closer Look. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/medicare-and-dental-coverage-a-closer-look/
  5. Center for Health Care Strategies Inc. (2019, September). Medicaid Adult Dental Benefits Coverage by State. Retrieved from https://www.chcs.org/media/Medicaid-Adult-Dental-Benefits-Overview-Appendix_091519.pdf
  6. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2017, September 18). Where Can I Find Low-Cost Dental Care? Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/answers/health-insurance-reform/where-can-i-find-low-cost-dental-care/index.html
  7. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d.). Find A Health Center. Retrieved from https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/
  8. Dental Lifeline Network. (n.d.). DDS Application. Retrieved from https://dentallifeline.org/donated-dental-services-dds-application/
  9. Dental Lifeline Network. (n.d.). State Programs. Retrieved from https://dentallifeline.org/our-state-programs/
  10. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Dental Services. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/dental-services