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How Can I Use Medicare for Dentures?

Dentures are prosthetic teeth worn by those who have lost their natural teeth.
Partial dentures.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 17 June 2014
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Medicare does not provide extensive coverage for dental care services. It typically covers only the dental expenses that are considered medically necessary. For example, if you have an infected tooth threatening your health, it will likely pay to cover an extraction. Unfortunately, however, you cannot use Medicare for dentures. You will usually have to find another way to pay for them, such as out of pocket or through the use of a Medicare Advantage Dental plan or other dental insurance program that you pay for on your own.

Unfortunately, if you qualify for Medicare, you cannot depend on it to meet your every dental and health care need. Medicare only provides coverage for certain health services, and the dental coverage is usually rather minimal. As such, you may benefit from coverage for dental issues that the plan considers necessary, such as dental treatment before certain types of surgery or dental care to correct problems that could affect other parts of your body. Typically, however, Medicare excludes such treatments as dental fillings, crowns, and cleanings, and you cannot depend on it for dentures.

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Since you cannot use Medicare for dentures, you may feel tempted to do without this type of dental care, especially if you do not have enough money to cover the expense out of your own pocket. Fortunately, however, you may have other options. For example, you can enroll in a separate dental care program and use it to pay for the dentures you need, though this can sometimes prove a costly option. You could also enroll in a Medicare Advantage Dental program, which typically provides dental coverage at a low cost, and sometimes no cost, to senior citizens who are deemed eligible for Medicare coverage.

Medicare Advantage Dental plans are usually sanctioned by Medicare and regulated by the state in which they operate. Private dental insurance companies provide coverage under these plans, though they are required to adhere to federal guidelines. The dental benefits provided depend on the plan you choose, as does the enrollment fee and any monthly premiums or co-payments for which you are responsible. Since you cannot use Medicare for dentures, you may do well to compare coverage for this service before you enroll, making sure the additional plan will truly meet your needs. It's important to keep in mind, however, that some plans may not cover all of your denture costs, and you may still have to pay a sum out of your own pocket.

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