Nearly one in five adults 65 and older have lost all of their teeth, potentially causing negative effects on health and nutrition. If you have missing teeth or dentures, you may be forced to eat softer, more easily chewable foods, instead of fresh foods with higher nutritional value.
The decision to get dental implants could be a better, more permanent solution — but does Medicare cover it?? Let’s talk about dental implant surgery and how much money, if any, you might have to pay out of pocket.
What Can I Expect From Dental Implant Surgery?
During dental implant surgery, artificial teeth with metal posts replace your damaged or missing teeth. The metal posts are secured in the jawbone, so dental implants won’t move around or cause bone damage like dentures or bridgework notoriously do.
After the procedure, your new teeth and jawbone will need time to heal. You may experience swelling, bruising, pain and minor bleeding. A physician may prescribe you pain medication to alleviate some of these symptoms.
While there are some risks to dental implant surgery — like possible infections, nerve damage or sinus problems, according to the Mayo Clinic — these problems are rare and may be outweighed by the reward of a healthy smile.
The cost for dental implants can vary, with a single implant estimated to range from $3,200 to $6,000 . Multiple implants can cost much more, so it’s important to determine how much you’ll spend out-of-pocket.
What Can Medicare Cover?
When it comes to dental care, Original Medicare doesn’t cover the majority of routine services, including implants.
Of course, there are exceptions . For example, Medicare Part A may pay for certain dental services if you're an inpatient at a hospital. Medicare may also pay for dental services that were performed as part of another procedure, like reconstructing your jaw after an accident.
A Medicare Part D drug coverage plan may cover any prescriptions given as a result of the surgery.