One in every four adults has lost all of their permanent teeth by the age of 74. When a permanent tooth falls out or must be pulled due to damage or decay, a dentist usually recommends a dental implant to replace it. Unfortunately, the Original Medicare Act of 1965 does not cover most dental care or "routine" dental treatment services, including dental implants.
While most basic or prosthodontic care, such as dental implants, is not covered by standard Medicare plans, some Medicare Advantage plans may help pay for this procedure. If you're looking for dental implants for seniors paid by Medicare, this article is perfect for you.
Understanding Dental Implants
A dental implant is a dental device that replaces the root of a decayed tooth. In most cases, this is a titanium post. Along with the post, there is a custom-made replacement tooth to match your natural teeth and a connector, known as an abutment, that links the two components.
Dental implants are an option for those born toothless or who have lost their teeth due to other causes. They are designed to fit and function similarly to natural teeth and are a more permanent solution than dentures or dental bridges. Dental implants provide numerous benefits, including keeping adjacent teeth stable and preventing any gum disease, among others.
Does Medicare Cover Dental Implants?
Dental implants fall under the prosthodontics branch of dentistry, which includes designing, manufacturing, and fitting prosthetic tooth replacements. They are a common alternative to dentures or bridgework because they provide stable support for your teeth and eliminate the need for ill-fitting dentures.
The Original Medicare law, specifically Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance), do not cover dental treatment or services necessary for the health of your teeth, such as cleanings, fillings, dentures, and tooth extractions. This also applies to dental implants.
Dental Implants For Seniors Paid By Medicare
Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as MA or Part C, are another option for acquiring Original Medicare Part A and Part B dental implant coverage. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer policyholders dental benefits, which may include coverage for dental implant procedures. Additionally, there are also various grants available for seniors to get dental implants.
MA Plans are often administered by Medicare-approved commercial insurance providers that must follow Medicare's requirements. Furthermore, MA plans often include benefits in addition to those provided by Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B), such as prescription medication coverage (Part D), dental, hearing, and vision care, and other services. However, you may have to pay a higher monthly premium to acquire this additional benefit.
Medicare Supplement Coverage For Dental Implants
Dental coverage, including dental implants, is not included in Medicare Supplement plans. However, if your surgery is performed in an inpatient setting or other health complications arise from dental implants, your Medicare Supplement plan covers such medical expenses.
Medicare Part D Coverage For Dental Implants
Medicare Part D does not provide health care coverage for beneficiaries. This applies to dental procedures and dental implants as well. Medicare Part D, however, will cover the price of prescriptions and medications required as a result of dental implants.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are still uncertain about dental implants for seniors paid by Medicare, below are some of the most frequently asked questions relating to the subject.
United Healthcare provides dental coverage for routine dental care. These dental benefits include no medical costs for covered dental treatments, including cleanings, fluoride, fillings, crowns, root canals, extractions, dentures, and implants, provided they are within the plan's annual maximum cap and performed by network providers.
For those who need assistance paying for their retirement, Social Security is a valuable resource. But unfortunately, it does not cover the cost of dental implants and other routine dental care services. However, you may use your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for your dental implants if you meet the requirements.
Despite the incredibly high cost of dental implants, there are several things you could do to lower the expense of this treatment.
Seek dental clinics abroad that perform dental implants. South American and Eastern European countries provide dental implant treatments that are less expensive than the U.S. You can also have your dental implants done by supervised undergraduates at dental schools. They usually offer this service free of charge to low-income patients. Some non-profit organizations provide grants to help people acquire vital dental services, such as dental implants. However, the best way to finance your dental implant treatment is through the use of dental insurance.
Get Help With Your Dental Implant Procedure Today!
Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B) does not provide dental benefits. Fortunately, there are dental implants for seniors paid by Medicare, specifically by most Medicare (Medicare Part C) plans, along with other basic and major dental services.
If you are in need of any medical equipment, check out this Gov Relations article on free medical supplies for senior citizens.