If you rely on Medicare for your preventive dental care and cleanings, you may be shocked to learn that you will need to cover the majority of costs yourself. OHA (Oral Health America) surveyed people aged 50 and older in 2015 to see how seniors are meeting their dental care needs. The survey covers seniors’ perceptions of the care they’re getting—and how they’re paying for it. When asked if Medicare covers routine dental services, more than half of the respondents were either uncertain or believed they were covered. Unfortunately, many retirees don’t discover that they’re not covered until post-appointment.
Currently, medicare doesn’t cover most dental services. Yes, you read that right. According to medicare.gov, Medicare does NOT cover:
- dental cleanings
- dental crowns
- tooth extractions
According to the OHA study, only around 10% of seniors have private dental insurance at retirement. The other 90% pay for everything themselves. As a result, this means that you have to pay close attention to the costs associated with any dental needs if you rely on medicare
What can seniors without private dental insurance expect to pay?
- Cleaning with x-rays $110–$320
- Filling $65–$300
- Crown $875–$2400
- Bridge $8400
- Tooth extraction $100–$450
- Dentures $1200+
- Implant $3500+
Why doesn’t Medicare cover preventive and routine dental care?
“The issue dates back 50 years, to the origination of Medicare, when oral health was not included in that bill,” said Oral Health America President and CEO Beth Truett.
Many ponder why, after all this time, preventive and routine dental coverage hasn’t been added to Medicare.
- Mountains of medical evidence clearly show the link between oral and overall health such as an increased risk of heart attack and stroke to those with poor oral health.
- More people would go to the dentist if routine dental care was covered.
- Receiving professional oral care routinely would undoubtedly reduce or eliminate some medical issues, thereby saving the program money.
As a patient with medicare, you’ll want to make sure you keep in mind all the costs associated with your dental preventive care along with any emergency situations. We’ve included some helpful links below to help with your planning and decisions.
Costs for dental and orthodontic care
This post is a featured article from Dr. Quin Gardner at Arise Dental located in Glendale Arizona.
Learn more at www.arisedental.com