Does Medicare cover oral surgery and tooth extraction?

5 answers | Last updated: Nov 19, 2016
Cecil j mamo asked...

Does Medicare cover oral surgery and tooth extraction?

Expert Answers

Most probably not. Medicare considers most work by non-physician oral surgeons as "dental" rather than "medical," and so Medicare doesn't cover it. This is particularly true if the care you're going to receive is a tooth extraction -- the procedure will almost certainly be considered dental and therefore would not be covered.

However, Medicare Part B can cover treatment that involves a problem with bones of the mouth and jaw, if it's the kind of treatment that physicians (M.D.s) perform. If so, the care might be considered "medical" and so would be covered by Medicare Part B even if performed by a non-M.D. oral surgeon. If your oral surgeon has told you that the procedure will involve more than just tooth extraction -- something to do with the bones or tissue of your mouth or jaw -- then ask the surgeon's office to contact Medicare in advance to see if it will cover the procedure. That way, you'll know ahead of time whether the care you're going to receive will be covered.


Community Answers

Lizbethhar answered...

If a doctor is an oral surgeon, he is an MD. If he sleeps a patient and removes teeth surgically, surely this should be a medical procedure. I would like to know how Medicare can get around this since it is a surgery. Not a deadened tooth and then pulled out. It is surgically cut out.

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A fellow caregiver answered...

I agree. I knocked out my two front teeth when I had spinal stenisos (disc pressure on spine) at the cervical (neck) level: this caused my hands, arms,lets and feet to become paralyzed. I tripped in the shower, knocked out my two front teeth. Before my surgery to correct this, and after, my neurosurgeon noted my missing two front teeth. It was 9 months before I was "okayed" to have dental work due to the titanum and bone grafts in my neck: it would have made the surgery fail. Thus, when finally cleared for dental work, my teeth were a mess: once one or two fall out, teeth will move, bridges fall out, abcessess develop. Mow I must have almost all of my teeth pulled and plates made - about $3,000 which I can ill afford right now. On the other hand if I do NOT have the dental work done, I will not only look awful (making it impossible to return to my work as a broadcaster, get off medciare soc/security disability, but will meam my overall health will deteriorate due to poor nutrition. Can't chew! Any health care reform must address issues like these. Teeth are NOT optional. You are born with them. Is as though Medicare is saying, we'll remove your kidneys, but dialysis..forget it.

A fellow caregiver answered...

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Sh13ld5 answered...

yes, it told me everything i needed. to get my mouth fixed!