Does Medicare Cover Dental Implants for Seniors

Medicare Benefits

Feb 7, 2023

Unfortunately, unless it’s considered an emergency, or a medically necessary part of another covered procedure, dental care isn’t covered by original Medicare. However, you may be able to find a Medicare Advantage plan that provides additional benefits like dental implants and other dental services.

TIP: Use plan finder to search for Medicare Advantage plans that include dental, vision, or hearing coverage. Or, call and speak with one of our Licensed Sales Agents to get answers to your questions: 877-882-1927.

Does Medicare Advantage Cover Dental Implants?

Many Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Part C, offer a way to get an overarching plan that encompasses Parts A and B, along with additional benefits. Most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug benefits and often cover other benefits. 

These benefits may include fitness programs such as Silver Sneakers, hearing aids, vision care and dental benefits. When you search for a Medicare Advantage plan that covers teeth implants, be sure the plan includes comprehensive dental services, not just preventive care. 

When to Enroll in a Plan That Includes Comprehensive Dental?

You can choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan when you’re first eligible for Medicare or during an annual enrollment period. Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), from October 15 through December 7, gives Medicare recipients a chance to make a change to their coverage. 

If you’re already enrolled in a MA plan but want to switch to another plan with more comprehensive dental coverage, you can do so during the AEP or during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) from January 1 through March 31. If you experience certain life events, such as moving out of state, you may qualify for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period

TIP: Discover 7 reasons why people switch Medicare Advantage plans.

What are Dental Implants?

If you’ve lost a tooth, due to injury or disease, you may be referred to a prosthodontist, a dentist that specializes in dentures and dental implants. Once a tooth is lost, the integrity of your whole dental structure is compromised. The teeth that remain can shift, leading to chewing issues, distorted speech and bone loss.

Implants are medical devices a prosthodontist surgically implants into a patient’s jaw to support crowns, bridges and dentures. The dental implant system comprises an implant body, an abutment (connector or post that supports the structure) and a screw. The body is surgically implanted in the jawbone, and the abutment attached to the body by the screw extends through the gums to support artificial teeth. 

Depending on your current state, you may need a single-tooth, multiple-tooth or full-mouth implant. In addition to the number of teeth missing, your doctor will evaluate the quantity and quality of your jawbone. If you don’t have a healthy jawbone, your doctor may suggest bone augmentation.

As with all surgeries, the implant procedure comes with benefits and risks.  

Benefits of dental implants

  • Reinstates capacity to chew
  • Improves facial appearance
  • Reduces the risk of jawbone shrinkage
  • Helps maintain healthy, teeth, gums and bone around the implant placement
  • Boosts stabilization of surrounding teeth
  • Enhances quality of life

Risks of dental implants

  • Damage to adjacent teeth 
  • Injury to tissues or jawbone during surgery
  • Loosening of implant body
  • Uncomfortable sensation where the implant is placed
  • Problems keeping the gums around the implant clean
  • Nerve damage and numbness after surgery

How Can I Get Coverage for Dental Care and Tooth Implants?

You can start your search by using our plan finder to determine which Medicare Advantage plans are available in your area. You can compare MA plans and check each plan’s premium, deductible, coinsurance and copayments, as well as the plan’s benefit limit.

For example, if your plan caps dental implant coverage at 50% and the annual maximum dental benefit is $1000 or $2000, take that into account too. A licensed insurance agent can do much of this legwork for you, helping you access the best dental insurance for seniors.

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