Does Medicare cover Dental Implants

If you are living on medicare or federally available medical insurance, you may be wondering about your options for dental care. There are options out there for those on medicare who need access to Dental surgery like Dental Implants. If you are suffering from advanced tooth decay or mouth problems, then you may need Dental implants, and you can work with existing insurance to find a way to make that happen. As a rule, Medicare does not offer Dental insurance which would include Dental Implants. However there are options, and you should contact your insurance directly and ask about available options, it never hurts to make a connection with someone and ask their advice. You can investigate available supplementary coverage options for a cost. You can also look into more specialized resources for your individual needs. Work with the services you can provide. If you cannot find options, you can also discuss Dental Implants alternatives with your dentist or insurance provider, options like semi permanent dentures or temporary dentures.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants involve a surgery that places a metal dental anchor through your gums into your jaw. The surgery usually requires a few initial assessments to gauge your jaw and dental health history. Once the anchor is secure and fused to your jaw, a process we call osseointegration, then your synthetic teeth implants and can be attached with an abutment or dental cap to secure them in your mouth. Dental implants can be cared for the same as teeth and usually are semi permanent, meaning they do not come out unless they are removed by your dentist.

How much do Dental implants cost?

Dental implant cost will vary based on the procedure, the materials used, and the patient. It is important to discuss all the available options with your Dental care team and your Insurance representative. The implant itself can cost anywhere from 1-3 thousand dollars, and up. The implant will require an abutment, which will run a similar pricepoint. If you need a full set of dentures, it can be around 30 thousand for each row. These are out of pocket costs, not including the operation or surgery, or associated medical fees.

What is Medicare? Medicare types

Medicare is a federally available insurance for people with disabilities or people age 65+. Medicare has different types with different coverage. These different types can be bundled in Original Medicare and Medicare advantage plans. Medicare advantage plans include medicare services, with an small additional monthly charge, and they often expand coverage for vision and Dental. Inquire with your representative about options.

Medicare part A covers hospital stays, certain home health care, and hospice care. While medicare part A covers hospital services, the additional costs of Dental implants would require a hefty out of pocket expense, and Medicare part A would not cover the entire procedure.

Medicare part B covers doctoral services, outpatient services, preventative services, and is most like traditional health insurance.

Medicare part D helps to cover prescription drugs. Part D usually has to be purchased from a private insurance company. Medicare Part D will be helpful in the post operation segment of Dental implants, and can help cover or offset prescription medication for pain and complications.

All of these types of medicare have certain coverage areas, but none of them traditionally cover Dental services or Dental Implants. The best option is to reach out to your medicare representative and ask about potential options for Dental implants or alternatives.

Medicare Advantage

If you are willing to spend a little money monthly to expand your coverage to ensure you can get appropriate vision and Dental care, Medicare advantage may be the best route. Medicare advantage covers the same aspects of Medicare A, B, and D, but allows the patient to create a more comprehensive plan. Patients should inquire with medicare representatives and private insurance companies to see what options they have. If you are interested in dental implants, be sure to ask about them. Before you make any changes, you want to be sure that you are getting what you are paying for.
Medicare advantage plans are purchased through private insurance companies. As a result you can have limitations on where you can receive coverage. You may be in a ppo plan or hmo network, and you will need to double check which providers and services you can access. These companies are here to win your business, so keep open communication with them and ask questions. Having basic Dental insurance, as well as Parts A and D coverage, will certainly offset big portions of the entire implant procedure. This route involves a little more work and research on your part, investigate your options and be thorough.

What are your options?

If you have original Medicare, you will have some portion of your implant procedure covered; namely prescription drugs, hospital services. You will not receive coverage for your dental procedures or checkups. If you investigate alternative options, you may have services available to expand your coverage. Depending on what issues you are facing, there may be additional resources to expand your coverage. People who are living with certain disabilities may use services to get dental coverage or additional insurance benefits. You cannot lose anything by calling and asking. Even though sitting on hold is a drag, as a rule if you treat people with respect they will try to help you.

In the meantime

While you wait to discover what you should do next, start practicing the dental hygiene you will need post operation. Brush at least twice a day, and frequently after meals. Floss regularly, gently working the floss in between your teeth, and be sure to follow the curve of your teeth down to the gum. Brush in gentle circles around your gums, to keep them free of food debris and bacteria. Use mouthwash, or warm slat water to sooth inflammation. Follow a diet that avoids inflammation, stay away from sharp crunchy foods and overly spicy snacks. Limit your exposure to alcohol, tobacco, nicotine, or drug use. If you can, visit your dentist regularly and research services which provide free checkups and preventative services.

Infected Dental Implants