Seniors on Medicare/MediCAL and Dental Implants

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We get a lot of calls from seniors that have lost some or all of their teeth, wondering whether Medicare or DentiCAL/MediCAL would be useful in helping with the finances of replacing their missing dentition with implants or implant-supported-prostheses such as dentures or all-on-4’s.


Medicare/MediCAL/DentiCAL will not pay towards implant placement in the mouth typically. There are a very particular set of circumstances that could justify that but in general the state-backed programs do not contribute to dental implant placement in one’s mouth.

DentiCAL does have some guidelines as far as helping with denture or partial fabrication which definitely is better than not having any prosthesis. Not wearing anything oftentimes causes malnutrition as well as change in facial structures and esthetics of one’s face, not to mention bone loss in the jaws.

Cost of a dental implant in the US on average is about $5K per tooth. This figure could vary depending on the location, bone level, further augmentation needed or not, and things alike.

If one is looking for a “fixed denture” in the mouth where the denture is being screwed onto implants for instance, the cost would be anywhere from $20-30K per arch (per jaw) depending on what is needed to accomplish that. There is no arguing that having a fixed prosthesis in the mouth is a lot more convenient and desired. However, unfortunately, finances are not abundant for everyone. We see this everyday that folks refrain from getting dentures or partials, which cost significantly less in comparison, because they are afraid of having a removable prosthesis. They want to go straight to implants though it could be years before the finances for such an endeavor is sorted out. Meanwhile, the quality of life of the individual is deeply affected by not being able to chew food properly or smile even due to lack of any presentable teeth. Mouth is the entry to the whole body. And not being able to gate it correctly, causes a lot of systemic issues.


So, if the finances is what is stopping you from moving forward with dental implants, in the meantime at least, have the missing/broken teeth replaced with another form of prosthesis, even if it is removable, so that your bite and musculature would not change. That would also help with chewing through your food until everything is ready to have those implants placed!