As if restoring your smile weren’t enough, dentures and other types of false teeth provide a host of oral health benefits.
If you are new to Medicare, you may wonder if Medicare covers false teeth – or dentures. This article will tell you what you need to know about Medicare, false teeth, and dental care.
We’ll also discuss how your life could improve with dentures and how to get help paying for them.
Benefits of dentures
False teeth (or dentures) aren’t only for improving appearance. Dentures may also improve your ability to chew food so you can get the required nutrients your body needs.
Here are some additional benefits of getting dentures.
Dentures improve your overall oral health
Missing teeth increases a person’s chances of developing periodontal disease or tooth decay. Even partial dentures can provide much-needed support for the rest of your teeth and facial muscles. Dentures also decrease oral bone loss.
Dentures reduce oral pain
Tooth pain can be debilitating. If you have gum disease or are suffering from tooth decay, you may not only find it difficult to eat, but the pain may also affect your ability to concentrate during the day and sleep at night.
If you are experiencing tooth pain daily, and a root canal isn’t possible, removing the decayed teeth and replacing them with false teeth can make you more comfortable.
Dentures can help you speak more clearly
It’s worth noting that many people report that it takes anywhere from two to four weeks to get used to speaking with new dentures. But once you have gotten used to them, they can improve your speech – especially if you were missing several teeth integral for speech.
Dentures provide a stable platform for the lips, cheeks, and tongue, all essential speech organs. As a result, people with dentures may find it easier to speak clearly and confidently.
Dentures can boost your confidence
Dentures can improve your smile. That alone may be why you want dentures – and that’s enough explanation. Dentures can help those who are self-conscious about their appearance and improve their quality of life.
Does Medicare cover dentures?
Unfortunately, even though there are many benefits to getting dentures, Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B) typically does not cover them.
In fact, Medicare doesn’t cover most dental care services, such as preventive cleanings, oral exams, fillings, tooth extractions, x-rays, dental implants, or dentures.
We know it’s disappointing that there’s no Medicare coverage for false teeth. However, most health insurance plans don’t offer dental coverage. Typically, one must purchase a separate dental insurance policy to receive dental benefits.
Even though Medicare only covers the partial cost of medical services that a healthcare provider deems “medically necessary,” – there is a tiny bit of good news about Medicare coverage of false teeth.
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and dentures
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) may pay for certain emergency or complicated dental services or dental procedures when you are a hospital inpatient.
Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans) and dentures
Most Medicare Advantage plans provide some dental coverage.
Private insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans (sometimes called Medicare Part C plans). They are required to cover everything Original Medicare covers.
Some Medicare Advantage plans also offer dental benefits. However, this coverage varies. For example, some only pay for routine dental care, while others help pay for more extensive dental services, including (possibly) dentures.
Medicare Advantage plans may also offer other coverage besides dental care, including prescription drugs (Medicare Part D) and vision coverage.
Medigap plans and dentures
Please note that Medigap policies help pay some healthcare costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as coinsurance, copays, or deductibles. So, your Medigap plan will not help you pay for your dentures.
How to pay for dentures
You may be disappointed about your Medicare dental coverage. If so, here are other ways to pay for dentures outside the Medicare program.
Stand-alone dental plans
Private insurance companies sell dental insurance plans to cover dental services, including dentures. Shop around by comparing each plan’s monthly premium – and look specifically for denture coverage.
Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides healthcare coverage to low-income individuals. Since Medicaid coverage varies by state, it’s difficult to say if your state’s program offers dental coverage that includes dentures.
Dental discount plans
Dental discount plans are not the same as health insurance plans. In exchange for a monthly fee, participants can receive discounts for specific medical or dental services, including routine dental services and dentures, when they use a particular dentist. You may have to pay out-of-pocket at the time of service to receive the discount.
If you don’t have dental coverage through Medicare or any other insurance plan, you may need to pay for dentures out of pocket. The cost of dentures can vary widely depending on the type of dentures. The pricing can also vary depending on your location and where you receive dental care.
One of our licensed agents can help you look at the different Medicare and dental plans available to you. Call us toll-free at 888-992-0738 to get started.