Medicare will not cover dental care that is needed primarily for the health of an individual's teeth, such as routine checkups, cleanings or fillings. Medicare may pay for a tooth extraction as preparation for a medical procedure.
Medicare may pay for an oral exam because the patient is having a procedure that requires a dental exam beforehand. Medicare may pay for dental services that are needed for a disease that involves the jaw, or if the patient had a facial tumor removed and needs reconstruction surgery because of that procedure. Medicare may also pay for surgery that is needed to treat fractures in the face or jaw, or if the patient needs dental splits and wiring as the result of jaw surgery.
Medicare does not pay for follow-up dental care after the original health condition has been treated. Medicare may pay for some hospitalizations that are dental-related, such as an infection after a tooth has been pulled, or if the patient requires observation during a dental procedure because the patient has a health-threatening condition. Medicare does cover the cost of hospitalization, but it does not cover the cost of dental fees or fees for other physicians such as anesthesiologists or radiologists.