Dental Services Covered Under Medicare Advantage

Dental services are not covered under Original Medicare, but coverage is available through a Medicare Advantage plan, which is provided by private insurers. Coverage varies by specific plan and can include everything from routine checkups and preventive care to dentures and procedures.

Christian Simmons, writer and researcher for RetireGuide
  • Written by
    Christian Simmons

    Christian Simmons

    Financial Writer

    Christian Simmons is a writer for RetireGuide and a member of the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE®). He covers Medicare and important retirement topics. Christian is a former winner of a Florida Society of News Editors journalism contest and has written professionally since 2016.

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    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: January 10, 2022
  • Updated: September 21, 2022
  • 4 min read time
  • This page features 4 Cited Research Articles
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APA Simmons, C. (2022, September 21). Dental Services Covered Under Medicare Advantage. RetireGuide.com. Retrieved September 26, 2022, from https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/services/dental/medicare-advantage-plans/

MLA Simmons, Christian. "Dental Services Covered Under Medicare Advantage." RetireGuide.com, 21 Sep 2022, https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/services/dental/medicare-advantage-plans/.

Chicago Simmons, Christian. "Dental Services Covered Under Medicare Advantage." RetireGuide.com. Last modified September 21, 2022. https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/services/dental/medicare-advantage-plans/.

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What Dental Services Are Covered by Medicare Advantage?

Many Medicare Advantage plans offer access to a range of dental services. However, exact coverage can vary heavily based on the specific plan.

Dental care becomes increasingly important as you age. Not only are you at higher risk for serious oral health conditions, from gum disease to oral cancer, but the rest of your body is at risk as well. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, bad oral health can exacerbate other health issues to cause serious problems.

The issue that many seniors run into is that, despite its importance, dental care is not easily available since it is not included in services covered by Original Medicare. The Kaiser Family Foundation also notes that 65% of Medicare beneficiaries have no dental coverage. This not only causes increased health concerns but also financial issues since dental services can be very expensive.

Preventive Care

Some Medicare Advantage plans, including low-cost options, offer access to preventive dental care. This can include routine checkups and regular teeth cleanings as well as examinations and screenings. Preventive care may seem like a minor addition to coverage, but it can be critical to preserving health and saving money.

Preventive care can keep you healthy by identifying and dealing with potential health conditions before they arise. Given the high cost of dental care, addressing oral health concerns early can also save you a significant amount of money in the long run.

Minor Procedures

Medicare Advantage plans can cover minor dental procedures, like pulling or replacing teeth, as well as tooth fillings. Medicare coverage can include some of these procedures, but only in rare circumstances. For example, tooth extractions are covered by Medicare but only for radiation of neoplastic diseases that affect the jaw.

Some Medicare Advantage plans offer access to these services in much broader terms. This coverage can save a lot of money given that the need for minor dental procedures can become more common as you age.

Dentures

Dentures are a major item for seniors that are not covered by Medicare. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, more than 27% of people 65 or older have no remaining natural teeth.

While Original Medicare does not cover dentures, many Medicare Advantage plans can offer coverage for them.

Major Oral Procedures

Coverage varies by plan, but some Medicare Advantage plans can cover major dental procedures. Operations include everything from root canals to oral surgery. These services can quickly become expensive, so they can be difficult to financially attain without some form of coverage.

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Which Medicare Advantage Plan Has the Best Dental Coverage?

There isn’t one Medicare Advantage plan that offers the “best” dental coverage. What qualifies as the best coverage really depends on what you are looking for. When trying to find a plan, you should determine if there are any specific items or procedures important to your health that you want covered. This can help you identify a plan that best fits your coverage needs.

It should also be noted that Medicare Advantage plans are provided regionally, so available coverage will vary based on where you live. Coverage is not blanketed across the U.S., so some areas will have access to a higher diversity of plans than others.

If you are looking mostly for preventive services, then it might make sense to identify low-cost plans. You should also consider the cost differences between plans that offer similar levels of coverage, from premiums to coinsurance.

How to Select a Medicare Advantage Dental Plan

  • Identify the plans available where you live.
  • Determine what level of dental coverage is most important to you.
  • Determine how much money you are willing or able to spend on dental care.
  • Identify available plans that fit your coverage needs and compare their prices and specific coverage.

How Much Is Medicare Advantage Coverage for Dental?

The actual cost of a Medicare Advantage plan that includes dental can vary heavily based on where you live. There are some plans with $0 premiums, meaning, they don’t cost anything more than Original Medicare but still come with added benefits.

According to Forbes, Medicare Advantage plans that don’t come with any extra cost can include basic dental services like cleanings and checkups. With the importance of preventive services, this can be an ideal low-cost way to keep your mouth healthy.

As far as plans that include more robust benefits or expanded coverage, the cost varies significantly based on the type of plan and where you live.

More diverse coverage options tend to be available in more populated parts of the country.

Last Modified: September 21, 2022

4 Cited Research Articles

  1. Haupt, A. (2022, August 16). Does Medicare Cover Dental? Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/health/healthy-aging/does-medicare-cover-dental/#do_medicare_advantage_and_medicare_supplement_plans_cover_dental_section
  2. Kaiser Family Foundation. (2019, March 13). Drilling Down on Dental Coverage and Costs for Medicare Beneficiaries. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/drilling-down-on-dental-coverage-and-costs-for-medicare-beneficiaries/
  3. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. (2018, July). Tooth Loss in Seniors. Retrieved from https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/research/data-statistics/tooth-loss/seniors
  4. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Dental Services. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/dental-services