Will My Medicare Plan Cover Dental Implants?
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Original Medicare does not cover dental implants because it is not considered a medically necessary benefit. It is still possible to get dental coverage by switching to a Medicare Advantage plan or purchasing a standalone dental policy.
Discover what influences the cost of dental implants and the nuances of how Medicare approaches coverage for these oral health solutions.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is like a small screw, usually made of titanium, that acts as an artificial tooth root. It's surgically placed into your jawbone, and over time, it bonds with your bone to create a strong and sturdy base. This base can then hold a replacement tooth, like a crown, or support a bridge or dentures.
Dental implants are securely anchored to the jaw, offering stability and preventing them from coming loose, unlike conventional dentures or bridges. This ensures a more natural feel and promotes overall oral health as they don't rely on other teeth for support.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
You can expect to pay $3,500 to $6,700 for a single implant and $10,000 and $21,500 to get implants for your entire mouth. Several factors dictate the cost of dental implants, such as:
- The number of teeth missing: The more teeth that need replacing, the higher the cost.
- The loss of bone tissue due to infection: Bone structure can deteriorate over time, necessitating bone grafts that raise the price of implant surgery.
- The location of the tooth: Teeth far back in the mouth are more difficult to get to than those in the front and cost more as a result.
Does Medicare Cover Dental Implant Medications?
There is no part of Original Medicare or Medigap that specifically lists dental implants as a covered benefit. The nearest type of coverage that Medicare will provide for dental implants is if you require medically necessary dental surgery.
In this case, Medicare Part A will pay for the cost of your hospital stay, as well as any medications related to the surgery. Afterward, Part D should cover associated prescription drugs when you are discharged.
How Do I Get Medicare Coverage for Dental Implants?
While coverage for dental implants does not exist under Original Medicare, it is possible to get this dental benefit covered by purchasing a Medicare Advantage plan.
Does Medicare Advantage Cover Dental Implants?
A Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) is the only Medicare-type coverage that may cover dental implants, as well as routine dental care, root canals and other procedures. An important distinction between Part C plans and Medicare is that Part C plans provide coverage similar to Medicare but are sold by private insurance companies. Fortunately, finding dental insurance should be easy, considering that 97% of Part C plans include dental coverage.
Can I Get Coverage Without Medicare?
You can enroll in a standalone dental plan in order to get secondary coverage for your dental implants. Unlike a Medicare Advantage plan, which may bundle dental coverage into a single health insurance plan, a standalone dental plan’s sole function is to provide dental coverage.
Luckily, dental insurance is relatively inexpensive with premiums being around $20 to $50 per month for an individual plan and $50 to $150 for a family plan.