Dental Implants are a life-changer for those who have lost a tooth (or teeth) be it through injury or periodontal disease. This is because tooth loss has a significant effect on the quality of life as it’s known to damage confidence and hamper eating and social activity. This surgical procedure involves replacing damaged or missing teeth with artificial ones that are attached to the jaw through tooth roots with metal posts. This procedure helps preserve existing bone structure and prevents further damage. However, it can be costly, with rates ranging from $1000 to a hefty $25000. This is made worse by the fact that Medicare’s dental coverage is pretty limited. But there are some insurance companies cover dental treatments.
The short answer to “Does Medicare Cover Dental Implants?” is no. Standard Medicare coverage, which is what Original Medicare Part A (which refers to hospital insurance) and Part B (which refers to medical insurance) cover, typically does not include dental services, except in very rare circumstances. It does not even cover routine dental cleanings, dental exams, tooth fillings, and dentures. Dental implants are not included.
However, there are very rare circumstances in which part or the entirety of the procedure will be covered. For example, if they are part of a medically necessary pre-operative procedure for a kidney transplant or a heart valve replacement surgery, dental exams are covered. Another scenario in which limited coverage is possible is when radiation treatment in the jaw area is necessary for a procedure, but such a treatment requires tooth extraction. In this case, tooth extraction is covered. If you have jaw surgery that requires dental splints or if you have injury to your jaw or facial area that needs surgery, certain dental surgery costs may be covered.
In both cases, follow up treatment will no longer be covered when the patient’s primary condition that led to the necessity for the dental procedures has been deemed treated.
If you need a dental implant but are worried about the costs, you’re not out of options just yet. If you need dental services coverage, consider getting a Medicare Advantage plan issued by private insurance companies. These insurance providers work with Medicare to provide standard Part A and Part B coverage with more inclusions including dental services. These plans vary greatly so it’s important to take a good look at your options particularly the coverage.