Does Medicare Part C Cover Dental Services?

When it comes to Medicare Part C, many are unsure about dental coverage. Does Medicare Part C cover dental services? Certainly, some Medicare Advantage plans do, but not all. Stick with us as we unpack the variety of dental coverage offered through Medicare Part C, ensuring you’re informed about your healthcare choices.


Key Takeaways



  • While some Medicare Advantage plans cover major dental work, dental surgeries are generally not covered, mirroring Original Medicare’s exclusion of dental care related to tooth health; standalone dental plans offer an alternative for more comprehensive coverage.

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Decoding Medicare Part C: Dental Coverage Explained

Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage, provides a way for beneficiaries to receive their Medicare benefits through private insurance companies approved by Medicare. One of the key attractions of Medicare Advantage is the potential for additional benefits not covered by Original Medicare, including Medicare dental coverage.

But it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. The extent of dental coverage varies significantly among Medicare Advantage plans, with different levels of coverage and a range of dental services included in different plans.

A careful navigation is needed in this landscape, considering that approximately 29% of Medicare beneficiaries are currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans offering dental coverage.


Types of Dental Services Under Medicare Part C

What specific dental services does Medicare Advantage typically cover? Low-cost Medicare Advantage plans often cover basic preventive services, such as oral exams, cleanings, and dental x-rays, which are considered routine dental care. Typically, cleanings are covered up to twice per year.

If a higher premium is acceptable for you, certain Medicare Advantage plans offer broader coverage. These plans may cover advanced dental procedures such as extractions and dentures, offering a broader safety net for your dental health.


Finding the Right Medicare Advantage Plan for Dental Care

Choosing the right Medicare Advantage plan for your dental care needs is not just about the services covered. Factors such as supplemental coverage, prescription drug coverage, and network restrictions should also be taken into account.

When comparing plans, you’ll want to assess the dental costs, coverage, and out-of-pocket expenses for each option in your locality.

Bear in mind that network restrictions may be imposed by Medicare Advantage plans with dental coverage, potentially limiting your choice of dental care providers or increasing out-of-pocket costs for visits to out-of-network dentists.

The Cost Factor: Understanding Premiums and Out-of-Pocket Expenses

The cost of Medicare Advantage plans with dental coverage is influenced by factors like age and location, which can affect the availability and cost of dental service. The premiums for these plans can range from approximately $108 to $692 annually, Understanding other costs linked to your plan, such as copayments and coinsurance, is also significant.


Medicare part c dental coverage



In Medicare Advantage, copayments and coinsurance refer to the payments made for dental services. To calculate your out-of-pocket expenses, consider the out-of-pocket maximum, which sets a limit on the total amount you’ll need to pay for covered services in a given year.


Navigating Additional Costs for Dental Procedures

Beyond premiums, copayments, and coinsurance, there may be other costs to consider. Many Medicare Advantage plans impose annual benefit limits, typically ranging from approximately $1,000 to $2,000.

Some dental procedures may also come with a waiting period, which usually lasts between 3 to 12 months. Lastly, network restrictions may apply.

Your choice of providers might be limited as Medicare Advantage plans may necessitate receiving all covered services from a dentist within the plan’s network.

Beyond Routine Care: Does Medicare Advantage Cover Major Dental Work?

So, you understand the basics of dental coverage under Medicare Advantage, but what about more complex procedures? Major dental care, including complex dental work and surgical procedures, fall under this category. Some Medicare Advantage plans may provide coverage for major dental procedures such as restorative services and endodontics.


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As for dental surgeries, they are typically not covered under Medicare Advantage, just as Original Medicare does not cover dental care or oral surgery related to tooth health.


Special Considerations for Dental Surgery and Emergency Care

Coverage for dental surgery and emergency care can differ among various Medicare Advantage plans that offer dental coverage.

Generally, these plans cover the same range of oral surgeries as Original Medicare. However, to access this Medicare cover dental care, the provider must be authorized to practice dental surgery or dental medicine.

In terms of emergency dental care, you’ll typically need to have received an enrollment approval letter from your Medicare Advantage plan. For out-of-network emergencies, coverage may be provided at the original Medicare rate.

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Comparing Standalone Dental Plans vs. Medicare Advantage

If your dental care needs go beyond what’s covered by Medicare Advantage, it may be worth considering a standalone dental plan. These plans, available through the Marketplace, provide specific coverage and benefits tailored for dental care. In contrast, dental coverage within Medicare Advantage is typically restricted to specific, medically-necessary situations.

For individuals aged 65 and older, standalone dental plans typically cost between $20 to $50 per month. On the other hand, Medicare Advantage dental plans also have a similar range of monthly premiums for individuals, but can extend from $50 to $150 for family coverage.

Standalone dental plans typically cover preventive care such as regular exams, cleanings, and x-rays, and some may also cover basic dental procedures.

On the other hand, Medicare Advantage plans commonly provide limited dental coverage, which is often confined to certain dental services that are medically necessary, rather than offering comprehensive dental coverage.


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Enrollment Insights: How to Add Dental Coverage to Your Medicare Plan

Once you’ve weighed your options, you might be considering adding dental coverage to your existing Medicare plan. This can be achieved by enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan or purchasing a standalone dental insurance plan from a Medicare carrier or insurance carrier.

To enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes dental coverage, you’ll need to reach out to private insurance companies providing such plans, verify the plan availability in your area, and complete the enrollment process.


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Take note that to avoid late enrollment penalties, the optimal time to sign up for a Medigap plan is when you first qualify for Medicare.

Alternative Dental Coverage Options for Medicare Beneficiaries

If Medicare Advantage or standalone dental plans don’t seem like the right fit for you, don’t fret. There are other ways to access dental services. For instance, Medicare beneficiaries can access dental services from dental schools, either through coverage options provided by Medicare Advantage plans or by securing dental insurance through other providers.

Another option to consider is Medicaid. If you’re eligible, you can contact your state Medicaid agency to find out what dental services are available to you.


Maximizing Your Dental Health Benefits

Choosing a plan that aligns with your specific needs is crucial to maximize your dental health benefits. This involves evaluating the coverage for required dental services, considering financial constraints, and determining your preferred healthcare providers.

Be aware that many Medicare Advantage Plans set restrictions on coverage, such as a cap on the number of services per year.

Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are crucial for:


  • Preserving oral health
  • Preventing significant dental problems
  • Enhancing overall health outcomes
  • Making the most of the dental health benefits provided by Medicare Part C


Preventive care, including services like cleanings, oral exams, and X-rays, is frequently fully covered under Medicare Part C plans.


Choosing the right dental coverage under Medicare Part C can feel like navigating a labyrinth. With a myriad of options and variables to consider, it’s crucial to be informed and prepared. From understanding the basics of Medicare Advantage and the types of dental services it covers, to weighing the costs and exploring alternatives, the choices you make can significantly impact your dental health and financial wellbeing.

Navigating this landscape may seem daunting, but armed with the right knowledge, you can make informed decisions that best suit your needs.

Remember, dental health is a critical component of overall health, and ensuring you have the right coverage can make all the difference. So take that step, explore your options, and smile with the confidence that comes from knowing you’ve made the best choice for your dental health.

Frequently Asked Questions



What does Medicare Part C pay for?

Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, covers everything Original Medicare does and often includes additional benefits such as prescription drug coverage, vision, dental care, and even fitness benefits.

It may also provide most of the coverage for Part A and Part B, along with extra benefits like vision and dental care.


Does Medicare cover root canals and crowns?

No, Medicare does not cover root canals or crowns. It also does not cover other dental care such as teeth cleanings, fillings, or dental implants.


Why does Medicare not cover dental?

Medicare does not cover dental because it was not part of the original program design and the cost of adding it has been a significant barrier to its inclusion. Despite efforts to expand Medicare to include dental coverage, such endeavors have so far been unsuccessful.


Which Medicare Advantage plan has the best dental coverage 2025?

United Healthcare has the best dental coverage for seniors on Medicare in 2025, offering the best overall plan in terms of both customer service and national coverage. The other top options include Aetna, Humana, and Cigna, each with their own strengths in dental coverage.


What additional costs might I incur under Medicare Advantage for dental procedures?

You may incur additional costs for dental procedures under Medicare Advantage, including annual caps, waiting periods, and network restrictions. Be sure to review your plan’s details carefully.

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Russell Noga
( Medicare Expert )

Russell Noga is the CEO of ZRN Health & Financial Services, and head content editor of several Medicare insurance online publications. He has over 15 years of experience as a licensed Medicare insurance broker helping Medicare beneficiaries learn about Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medigap insurance, and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.