Although Medicare covers a broad array of health care services for seniors, Medicare does not cover the cost of dentures and other dental services, leaving a number of costs to American seniors. Permanent dentures, for example, can cost anywhere between $300 and $5,000, and denture plates can run upward of $10,000.
What Medicare Covers
Although Medicare does not cover dentures and routine dental services, Medicare Part A does cover some dental emergencies that require immediate care in a hospital.
According to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS):
Currently, Medicare will pay for dental services that are an integral part either of a covered procedure (e.g., reconstruction of the jaw following accidental injury), or for extractions done in preparation for radiation treatment for neoplastic diseases involving the jaw. Medicare will also make payment for oral examinations, but not treatment, preceding kidney transplantation or heart valve replacement, under certain circumstances. Such examination would be covered under Part A if performed by a dentist on the hospital’s staff or under Part B if performed by a physician.
But keep in mind that you are still responsible for your Medicare out-of-pocket costs, which include a $1,340 Part A deductible per benefit period in 2018. This deductible needs to be met before Medicare Part A will begin paying its share of the costs.
To help cover some of these out-of-pocket costs, you can purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, which helps close the gaps in coverage left by Medicare. However, Medicare Supplement Insurance does not cover routine dental costs, either.