6 Tips to Find the Right Dentist That Takes Medicare

Reviewed and Updated by Troy Frink,

Oftentimes, people wait until it’s too late to visit the dentist. Many common oral health problems don’t even have noticeable symptoms right away, but your dentist can catch them. 

Regular dental exams and cleanings should be a part of your healthcare routine. If you’re eligible for Medicare, you may want a dentist that takes Medicare insurance to help cover dental costs. 

However, even if your dentist takes Medicare, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity for better care. Use these six tips to find a better dentist.

1. Find the Right Dental Insurance, First

Before you select a dentist, make sure that you have dental insurance coverage with a network that allows you to pick your own dentist.

Original Medicare will only provide dental coverage for medically necessary services. That means dentists cannot accept Medicare Part A or Part B for routine dental care. However, some private insurance plans called Medicare Advantage plans can help pay for services that Original Medicare does not, like hearing, vision, and of course, dental.

It may seem difficult to find out what insurance plans dentists take in your area. You may not even know where to start. Our licensed agents are highly trained and can help you locate dentists that take Medicare Advantage plans.

Some people may need coverage for more dental services than Medicare Advantage plans provide. You can purchase separate private dental insurance plans that may provide the additional coverage you need. Talk to your agent about private dental insurance plans.

Medicare Advantage | Medicare Plan Finder

2. Learn What Other People Say About Local Dentists

Other people are a great resource for learning about dentists in your area. Ask friends and family what they think about their dentists, or ask your doctor for a referral. You can also find information from professional associations such as the American Dental Association (ADA) or the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD)

Even though you can find plenty of reviews on Google, be wary of fake accounts. If a review looks like a machine wrote it or it’s too over-the-top, proceed with caution.

3. Check out the Dentist’s Website

Woman Looking at Dental Websites | Medicare Plan Finder
Woman Looking at Dental Websites | Medicare Plan Finder

The ADA has a directory website that allows you to search for dentists in your area by specialty. For example, let’s say you have good oral health, and you want to find a general dentist. The ADA directory will show you all of the local dentists who are ADA members and their contact info. 

The dental practice’s website will display much of the information you need such as the insurance plans they accept, operating hours, address and contact information. 

Take the office’s location into account, and ask yourself if you can get there easily. Assess whether their business hours fit into your schedule. 

How to Use the ADA’s Local Dentist Finder Tool

Click here to use the ADA’s local dentist finder tool. Enter your zip code in the box beside the red arrow. We used our home office zip code, which is 37209. Then, in the box above the yellow arrow, select how close you want your dentist to be. The next step is to select your dentist’s specialty, which you can do in the box under the orange arrow. Then click “SEARCH” beside the blue arrow.

ADA Local Dentist FInder Tool Step 1 | Medicare Plan Finder

Then you’ll come to your list of local ADA dentists.

ADA Local Dentist FInder Tool Step 2 | Medicare Plan Finder

4. Make Lists of Offered Services

You have an idea of what services you might need. For example, if you have dental implants, you may need to find a periodontist or an oral surgeon who specializes in gum disease. However, if you’ve only had a couple of cavities and you only need routine cleanings and examinations, a general dentist may be a better fit.

As you browse dental websites, list what services they offer and compare the services with your needs. You may find that only a couple of dentists in your area specialize in your condition, or you may find that you have many options. 

5. Visit the Facility

Once you’ve narrowed down a few choices, visit their offices. Look around and ask yourself if the facility is neat and organized. See if dental staff wear protective equipment such as gloves and if they seem to enjoy their jobs. Listen to how the staff talks to patients.

You want to get an idea of what your experience might be like if you make this person your regular dentist. If you like what you see, consider making an appointment.

6. Compare Costs

Dentist and Man Discussing Treatment Plan | Medicare Plan Finder
Dentist and Patient Discussing Treatment Plan | Medicare Plan Finder

Even if you find a dentist who accepts your insurance plan, you may still owe some bills. Make an appointment for a consultation and have the dentist make an itemized list of the services you need and their costs.

If the dentist recommends a long list of costly treatments such as oral surgery, veneers, or crown replacements, you may want to get a second opinion. 

We Can Help You Find Dental Coverage

Finding the right dentist can seem overwhelming. Your Medicare Plan Finder agent may be able to help you find the right Medicare Advantage or private dental insurance plan. Call 844-431-1832 or contact us here today.

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