Medicare Cover Dental Implants

Does Medicare Cover Dental Implants?
In the United States, dental implants are one of the most popular tooth replacement treatments preferred by adults. This popularity is because dental implants offer improved stability, security, and durability over the other tooth replacement treatments. Before committing to the treatment, it is important to be aware of the financial investment implant treatment requires. But it is also important to remember this is an investment in long-term health and quality of life. If you have Medicare coverage and are interested in having your missing teeth replaced, you may be wondering if your Medicare plan covers dental implant treatment. Here is more information on dental treatments covered by Medicare and the estimated treatment costs of dental implant treatment.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium or ceramic post that is installed in the jawbone during a minor surgical procedure. Once placed, the implant is designed to “permanently” act like the root of a new artificial tooth. After the implant is placed, it will fuse with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration. This fusing process is essential to the long-term success of the implant. Once the implant is securely fused with the bone, an artificial tooth, called a crown, can be attached to the top of the post. The implant treatment involves a few simple and easy procedures that will take several months up to one year.

Costs of Dental Implant Treatment
The cost of dental implant treatment can vary widely. This is because many factors impact the cost of the treatment, including geographic location, the expertise of the dentist, and the implant system selected. Of these factors, the implant system has the largest impact on the total treatment costs. A variety of well-known, well-tested, and well-respected brands produce dental implant systems. If a provider recommends an implant system from a well-known brand, it is because there is evidence and research to support the success of their product. But you can also expect implant systems from these brands to cost more. Implant components manufactured by local dental labs may be more affordable, but will also have less evidence to support their success. A dentist will discuss the types and brands of implant systems available, and the estimated cost of each option with their patient prior to developing their treatment plan. On average, a single dental implant will cost between $1,500-$6,000. This estimated treatment cost includes the cost of the implant surgery, implant system, and all additional hardware or procedures that are needed throughout the process.

Will Your Medicare Plan Cover Your Dental Implant Treatment?
If you have Medicare coverage, you may be wondering if your plan will cover the cost of dental implant treatment. Whether or not your Medicare will cover dental implant treatment really depends on which Medicare plan you have. Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover most dental treatments or routine dental care. Medicare Part C (also known as Medicare Advantage) allows for individuals to get Medicare coverage through a private health insurance company. Medicare Advantage includes many of the benefits of Medicare Part A and Part B, but also includes additional coverage, usually including routine dental services, dental treatments, and prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Part A does cover all care in the hospital setting; however, it is unusual for dental implant procedures to be performed in the hospital setting. In some rare situations it may be possible to get dental implants in a hospital, but even if a dental implant procedure is performed in the hospital it does not mean that Medicare Part A will cover the costs. Prior to seeking out an in-hospital dental treatment, it would be best to check with hospital billing to see if your Medicare plan will cover the costs.

How to Cover the Costs of Dental Implant Treatment
If you have Medicare Part A or Part B and are interested in dental implant treatment, you should know the treatment is still an option for you. For example, you can consider alternative payment options instead of Medicare, including:

Medicare Advantage Plans: You could start by exploring transitioning your current Medicare coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage should be available in addition to your current Medicare coverage, and may include coverage for some dental treatments. Start by having a discussion with a Medicare professional before you switch and confirm if the plan includes coverage of dental implant treatment and other dental services. If you transition to a Medicare Advantage plan you will continue paying the usual monthly premium, along with the Medicare Advantage plan premium charge.

Private Dental Insurance Plans: Another option is to add dental insurance from a private insurance company to your Medicare plan. However, some private insurance plans do not cover dental implant treatment, so it is important to confirm the plan will cover the treatments you are interested in prior to committing.

Dental Discount Plans. Dental discount plans are another option to help cover dental implant treatment costs. You can start by having a conversation with your dental provider to see if they offer any discount plans. A dental discount plan could cover up to 50% of the total costs of the implant treatment.

If you are interested in dental implant treatment, but are concerned about the potential treatment costs, you have several payment options available to you. If you have Medicare Part A or Part B, it is highly likely that your current Medicare plan will not cover the costs of dental implant treatment. If you are committed to getting a dental implant treatment, you should start by doing a little research into your current Medicare plan and start exploring alternative payment options that may be available to you. Once you are familiar with your options, you can discuss the options with your dentist to get an idea of the estimated costs of an implant treatment and payment options they may offer. If you take your time, you will find an option that will work for you.