Original Medicare does not cover any fees related to dentures or dental implants, even if you need surgery to repair your jaw after an accident. However, people who have a Medicare Advantage plan may find dental implant coverage included in their plan. If you have Medicare and want to have this procedure done, you'll need to make sure you have a form of secondary coverage, such as a standalone dental plan, to avoid paying the full cost. Most Medicare Advantage (MA) plans offer some dental coverage for many dental needs, but not all plans help pay for dental implants.
Dentures are covered by Medicare Advantage plans or Part C. Obtaining dental implants may require multiple appointments, diagnoses, procedures, and medications prescribed during the process. Most of the coverage for dental implants you'll find in Medicare comes from Medicare Advantage plans. There are other expenses related to dental implants, such as exams, x-rays to determine the condition of the gums and tooth roots, and tooth extractions.
For several months, the small metal posts of the implant fuse with the jawbone to create a solid and sturdy base on which a restorative crown or prosthetic tooth can be mounted. If dental implants are covered, you will be responsible for paying a co-pay or coinsurance until the maximum annual benefit is reached. The cost will depend on the number of implants placed, the type of implant system used, the materials and equipment used, and any underlying health conditions that require treatment in conjunction with the placement of the dental implants. Dental implants maintain the structure of the remaining teeth and improve the ability to chew, and dental implant recipients tend to report higher self-esteem.
However, just like original Medicare, if your procedure is performed in a hospital setting or if additional health problems arise due to dental implants, your Medicare supplement plan will cover the related costs. The geographical location and experience of the doctor performing the implant surgery may also influence the cost, as professionals with more experience or those in larger urban areas are likely to charge a higher fee for their services than their less-experienced counterparts in smaller cities.