As of 2015, the New York-administered Medicaid program covers only dental services deemed essential for those over the age of 21, rather than providing comprehensive coverage, explains the Western New York Law Center. Medicaid covers periodic dental evaluations, emergency and preventative dental care and restorative services for children under 21.
Certain dental services are explicitly excluded under the Medicaid program, including dental implants, most fixed bridgework, immediate full or partial dentures and molar root canals for most beneficiaries 21 or older, according to the Western New York Law Center.
States have made sharp cuts to optional medical benefits, including adult dental coverage, under their Medicaid programs, as reported in a 2012 New York Times article. Medicaid covers dental care only for pain relief and emergencies in about half of the states, whereas in other states Medicaid covers preventive exams and cleanings, but not fillings, root canals and other restorative services.