Does Medicare Cover Dental and Vision?

Senior Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
February 15, 2023

A senior couple smiling while hugging each other

Medicare provides great health insurance for people aged 65 and older, but it can also be confusing to navigate when applying for coverage and trying to understand what care will be paid for. 

Not to mention, Medicare does not include all types of care, like certain dental and vision services. We’ve got the information you need about what Medicare coverage provides and doesn’t provide, so you can make smarter decisions in purchasing supplemental plans.

Medicare coverage: the basics

Medicare can be categorized into different types, referred to as “parts.” Here’s what you need to know about Parts A through D.

Medicare Part A

Part A is hospital insurance, meaning you’re covered for:

  • Inpatient hospital stays
  • Care you receive in a skilled nursing facility
  • Hospice care
  • Some health care

Medicare Part B

Part B is medical insurance, which covers certain doctors’ services, along with medical supplies, preventive services, and outpatient care.

Medicare Part C

Part C is referred to as Medicare Advantage. It’s an alternative option to Original Medicare, as it’s an all-in-one solution that bundles Parts A and B. Part D (see below) is usually included as well, but you’ll need to confirm based on your policy.

Medicare Part D

Part D is prescription drug coverage. You can add this coverage to your Medicare plan if you want, but you’ll need to get it from either an insurance provider or private company that has Medicare approval.

Does Medicare cover dental?

In the above list of Medicare types, you’ll notice no mention of dental. Unfortunately, that’s because only Part C covers dental services, except in the case of in-hospital or emergency dental work. In these cases, Part A may step in — but the dental care itself may still not be covered (complicated, we know). 

What dental services are covered by Medicare?

At a higher monthly premium, Medicare Part C covers routine dental care like exams, cleanings and x-rays. But even with this coverage, you’ll have to pay 100% for more extensive and costly procedures like root canals, bridges and crowns (unless deemed medically necessary).  

Does Medicare cover vision?

Like dental care, vision services are also only covered under Medicare Advantage or when vision services are deemed medically necessary. But receiving this care is important, especially when you’re older. If you rely only on Medicare and you need a routine exam for your glasses or contacts, you’ll likely pay for it out of pocket unless you have additional coverage.

What vision services are covered by Medicare?

Medicare Part B might help with the costs of tests and treatments related to certain eye or vision disorders, like glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease. If you need surgery and corrective lenses for cataracts, or if you suffer from an eye injury, Medicare may assist in those situations as well.  

How to get dental and vision coverage on Medicare

When Medicare falls short, don’t fret — you’ve got other options! People on Medicare have a couple of options to improve their dental and vision coverage with standalone or supplemental plans.

Get standalone dental and vision insurance

Seniors have a lot to consider when it comes to their oral health. The risk for problems like cavities and gum disease, as well as mouth cancer, increases with age. You may end up needing expensive procedures like extractions or root canals, or decide to get dentures or implants. 


This all adds up, but the right insurance can help you rest easy knowing costs are covered and you don’t have to break the bank to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. Signing up for a standalone dental or vision insurance plan, like those offered by Spirit, provides more options and flexibility and puts you in control of your coverage and care. 

Get supplemental dental insurance

Supplemental dental insurance helps to fill the gaps left by Medicare, enabling you to get the dental and vision services you need without paying in full. This means dental care like fillings, extractions, dentures, root canals and crowns, as well as vision exams, treatments and affordable glasses or contact lenses.

Spirit Dental & Vision has you covered

Keeping our mouths and eyes healthy is important at any age. Spirit Dental & Vision has numerous vision and dental insurance plans for individuals on Medicare to augment their coverage. 

Get a quote to find the right policy for you today. 

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