Medicare plans do not include dental coverage. Medicare does not cover the costs of teeth cleaning, fillings or removal. However, Medicare can sometimes cover dental services in specific situations when a dental procedure is required to complete some other, covered, medical procedure.
Medicare may cover hospitalization costs, including room and board, anesthesia or x-rays, if a patient requires hospitalization during a complex dental procedure, even though it does not cover the procedure itself.
In some cases, dental care can be covered if it is an integral part of a medical service to treat a nondental condition. For example, if the removal of a tumor on the face or jaw required the removal of teeth as well, that procedure may be covered. However, any follow-up dental care resulting from the removal of those teeth may not be covered under the Medicare plan.
In preparation for some surgeries, such as kidney transplants or heart valve replacements, a dental examination may be required. In these cases, the dental exam is covered, because it is a necessary component for the surgery. Radiation treatment for oral cancer may require the removal of teeth, and this is covered under the Medicare plan as well, as it is part of a nondental medical service.