Does Medicaid Cover Root Canals?

We have so many advertisements about ‘how we can take care of our teeth,’ but there is no advertisement about ‘does Medicaid cover root canals‘ or not.

This article explains whether Medicaid covers root canals or not; if yes, what’s included in the package, and which age group is eligible or not.

Read more to clarify doubts about whether Medicaid covers root canals or not, as Medicaid covers dental implants. So read more to figure out the differences and exceptions.

Is It True Medicaid Covers Just Dental Plants Only, Not Root Canals?

The criteria used to determine whether Medicaid will pay for dental care vary by US state. Medicaid typically only covers procedures the state has determined to be medically necessary.

Read Also: Does Medicaid cover dental implants? Click Here To Read 

It’s critical to evaluate your overall eligibility and whether the Medicaid program considers your dental care vital before deciding whether Medicaid would pay for dental implants. In a nutshell, adult dental implants and even emergency dental implant operations are not covered by more than half of the states in the US.

This benefit’s primary goal is to offer early diagnosis and treatment, which includes dental care, to stop medical issues before they start. If you require dental implants to replace your permanent teeth, Medicaid might pay the cost.

Now the question arises ‘does Medicaid cover root canals? You might be unaware of your Medicaid benefits if you are a Medicaid recipient. People frequently ask, “Does Medicaid cover root canals and crowns?”

The 26 states where Medicaid provides coverage for restorative dental care are why root canals and crowns are permitted. Some of the best medical bill grants.

When utilizing your Medicaid coverage, extensive research is vital. Procedures may be covered differently by various plans in various states. Additionally, you’ll need to choose a dentist who accepts Medicaid payments.

We’ll delve deeply into Medicaid dental coverage in this article. We hope that by reading this article’s conclusion, you will have some simple decisions regarding your dental needs.

Stay with us till the end and read with us. You’ll become the family’s go-to Medicaid dental expert once you’re done.

Dental Coverage Under Medicaid?

Government programs like Medicaid very well cover major medical expenses. We take care of things like traveling to the ER, seeing doctors, and acquiring medicines. But when it comes to coverages like dental and vision, things can become a little perplexing.

Your state affects the dental coverage that you are eligible for. But your age may also have an impact.

Medicaid ensures that children will have access to dental care. Medicaid must cover other pediatric medically essential treatments, such as tooth repair, oral health maintenance, and infection and pain management.

However, the coverage for adults differs slightly.

Each state has distinct policies regarding the kind of dental coverage it will provide to Medicaid patients. For adult treatment, there is no minimum requirement for dental coverage. As a result, fewer than half of the states in the United States decide to cover adult Medicaid recipients’ dental expenses.

We’re not discussing cosmetic operations, either. Unfortunately, less than half of America’s states don’t offer Medicaid-eligible adults emergency dental care. But don’t give up. There’s a chance.

The good thing is that if you’re an adult on Medicaid, you might be eligible to enroll in alternative dental insurance programs.

Does Medicaid Cover Root Canals?

Depending on your state, your Medicaid coverage may vary significantly.

Although the majority of beneficiaries are aware that Medicaid has much more complicated rules than Medicare when it comes to dental coverage.

The primary cause is that Medicaid covers various dental care in various states. In many areas, Medicaid does pay some or all of the cost of dental care, including root canals and other difficult procedures.

Most states still don’t offer much dental care through Medicaid, though. We will discuss some important distinctions you should be aware of and the basic classification of state coverage limits, even though we cannot discuss the specific dental treatment coverage structure for every state.

What Dental Services Does Medicaid Cover?

What dental care your Medicaid plan will cover in 2022 for adult patients depends on Medicaid’s dual nature. There is no one right response, and the private business handling claims is the final arbiter.

These two fundamental ideas are the foundation for locating a nearby dentist who accepts Medicaid.

  • Medicaid’s health insurance component uniformly covers medically essential oral care, and claims are managed by a Managed Care Organization (MCO).
  • Inequitably across all states, the Medicaid dental insurance component pays for dental care that is not medically essential, with claims decisions made by a Dental Benefits Manager (DBM).

If you live in one of the numerous states with dental grants for low-income folks, they may provide a more practical option for treating your teeth.

Restorative Care

Medicaid occasionally pays for adult restorative dental care under both program modules. Replacing missing, damaged, or rotting teeth is the goal of restorative dentistry.

When dental implants are deemed medically necessary. Medicaid will cover their cost as part of its health insurance program.

When a state authorizes the coverage, Medicaid covers various restorative care under the dental insurance component, subject to further restrictions.

  • When advised against false teeth, dentures are the least expensive treatment option.
  • Root canals that are not excluded by state-specific rules.
  • Per tooth, throughout a lifetime.
  • Front incisors’ root canals, just root canals on the second and third molars.
  • When the recommended cap covers an injured tooth, crowns are generally the least expensive alternative.
  • Front incisor crowns are made of ceramic.
  • Crowns for molars made of porcelain bonded to metal.

Oral Surgery

Medicaid will occasionally pay for both program modules’ adult oral surgery treatments. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon manages conditions affecting the mouth, teeth, jaws, face, head, and neck and injuries and deformities in these areas.

Medicaid will cover oral surgery under the health insurance component when medically necessary.

Bone-impacted third molars with wisdom teeth that are painful, infected, and cyst-prone must be extracted.

Medicaid covers other oral surgical services under the dental insurance component in the states where the benefit is offered. These procedures include corrective jaw operations that restore face and bodily anomalies brought on by congenital deformities, accidents, or illnesses.

Dental Emergencies

Adults nationwide who need emergency dental care can get it through Medicaid. With urgent care, the two elements operate differently.

Receivers who become aware of these differences shouldn’t have any trouble paying for urgent dental care without insurance.

All over the nation, the health insurance portion should uniformly cover medically necessary emergency dental work (resulting from non-biting accidents, specific illnesses, and treatments regarded as vital to other procedures included in the plan).

  • Shattered teeth extractions following an accident.
  • After non-biting trauma, root canal therapy.

Depending on the state of domicile, the dental insurance component covers varying levels of urgent dental care related to tooth decay and gum disease.

Only a few states offer limited emergency dental care.

  • Procedures required to stop acute infections, reduce bleeding, or alleviate pain.
  • Services are needed to stop the imminent loss of teeth and “pulpal death.”

Orthodontic Braces

Medicaid rarely covers adult orthodontic dental services under either program module. Every rule, however, has an exception.

When orthodontic treatment is medically necessary—that is, when it prevents, detects, or treats an accident, an illness, or its symptoms—Medicaid will cover adult patients’ braces under the health insurance portion of the program.

Examples include treating sleep apnea, temporomandibular joint disorders, or realigning teeth following a non-biting trauma (TMJ or TMD).

In any state, orthodontic braces don’t appear to be covered by Medicaid’s dental insurance component. Before turning 21, you should take care of a malocclusion causing you trouble.

Preventive Dentistry

Medicaid will occasionally pay for adult patients’ preventive dental care. Regular oral exams, cleanings, fluoride applications, sealants, and X-rays are examples of preventive therapies that assist patients in avoiding decay, gum irritation, and tooth loss.

Under the oral care component, 31 states cover preventive dental care.

Periodontal Treatment

Medicaid covers periodontal dental qualities for adults less frequently because fewer states offer coverage for gingivitis prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Your plan might cover the periodontal treatment costs of these frequent procedures if you reside in one of the 19 states with relevant benefits under the dental care provision.

  • Broad cleaning (root planning and scaling).
  • Surgery on the gingiva to cure advanced disease.
  • To correct receding gum lines, gum grafting is used.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Adult cosmetic dentistry services are not covered by Medicaid under either program module in any state. Cosmetic operations alter healthy tissue not to improve the function of a patient’s teeth, gums, or bite but to improve appearance and symmetry.

In other words, Medicaid will not cover surgeries that change the size, color, alignment, or position of your teeth or gums.

  • Bleaching or teeth whitening.
  • Veneers for the lips or luminaires.
  • White Fillings Bonding.

Does Medicaid Cover Root Canals And Crowns?

Do Medicaid cover root canals and crowns, a common question? However, millions of Americans must have these crucial treatments at some time. They may be crucial to someone’s general health since cavities can cause serious infections and illnesses if they are not treated.

Unfortunately, these procedures fall under Medicaid’s definition of “restorative care services.” Only 26 of the 50 states in America offer these benefits for restorative therapy.

Medicaid recipients should ensure that their state’s dental insurance does not limit the number of procedures or the amount that can be reimbursed for these services.

  • Coverage For Crowns

Let’s look at what dental crowns might be covered by Medicaid. Crowns are caps placed over teeth to restore their size, shape, strength, and appearance.

Dentists will use one of three important types of crowns to fix your teeth. If you are eligible for Medicaid dental coverage, it might only pay for the least expensive treatment option and impose time restrictions on any future replacement caps you require.

  • Dentures

Denture coverage is a topic worth discussing because it falls under the same umbrella as crown operations. Removable plates called dentures are used to hold false teeth. People can use these devices to restore their smiles and replace lost teeth.

It is, therefore, primarily thought of as cosmetic dental surgery.

State-by-state variations in Medicaid coverage for dentures apply, as they do for all medical treatments.

Medicaid often pays for the most economical form of care. For a more sophisticated therapy, you can pay out of pocket (i.e., better crowns or dentures).

  • Coverage For Root Canals

An endodontic dental procedure is a root canal. This is so that root canals can treat the soft tissue beneath the tooth. They are, therefore, less cosmetic surgery than dentures or crowns.

Your state’s Medicaid program may impose restrictions on how many root canals you can get throughout your lifetime. The money they will refund for the procedure may also be restricted.

One root canal is typically covered by Medicaid per tooth. They typically have a financial cap on what they will cover and exclude second and third molars.

Are There Any Medicaid Dental Providers?

Receiving quality medical care may be difficult due to the coverage provided by Medicaid. The majority of dental practitioners do not take Medicaid coverage, which is another factor.

According to a recent survey, only 43% of dentists nationwide already accept Medicaid. There are only a few dentists accessible, and experts think there are two key causes for this.

The federal government makes it difficult for dentists to become “Medicaid-approved” providers, which is the first justification. The second reason is that most Medicaid beneficiaries who reside in states offering dental care are unaware they qualify for it.

Calling the business you wish to go to and asking if they accept Medicaid is the simplest approach to discovering a dental professional. Don’t give up if they tell you no. Even so, it can require some searching for you to locate a service.

It’s possible that you got a pamphlet listing all the local providers when you first got Medicaid coverage. If you have dental insurance where you can check this booklet to find which local dentists will take it. If you no longer have access to that paperwork, there are several internet tools that you can use.

See what shows up when you search for “Medicaid approved dental provider near me” or something similar.

Which States Cover Which Treatments?

Unfortunately, the details of this scenario are too complicated to delve into. But there is a helpful division of states into various levels of coverage.

Be aware that states will differ regarding the specifics, even within one level of coverage. Even though both states are thought to give comprehensive coverage, some may cover certain things that others do not.

  • Extensive Medicaid Dental Coverage

Alaska, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, Wisconsin.

  • Limited Medicaid Dental Coverage

Arkansas, Colorado, Ilinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Lousiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming.

  • Emergency Medicaid Dental Care Only

Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, West Virginia.

  • No Medicaid Dental Care At All

Alabama, Delaware, Tennessee.

Other Options If You Don’t Qualify For Medicaid

It can be incredibly frustrating if your salary is too low to pay for a private dental plan, yet you are not eligible for Medicaid dental care.

Fortunately, there are other choices. Again, it’s crucial to remember that these will differ significantly from state to state, but they are still beneficial to keep in mind and give a shot if you run out of other possibilities.

  • CHIP : Plans, called “CHIP,” are more comprehensive health insurance options made possible by the Affordable Care Act. These programs are accessible to kids from low-income families and can offer different kinds of dental treatment in various states.
  • Dentistry Schools : In some instances, dental schools may provide people with dental care at no cost or for a reduced fee.
  • Nonprofit Organizations : Several state-specific and federal nonprofit organizations seek to offer low-income residents accessible dentistry treatments. Although United Way is a well-known nonprofit with operations across the nation, you should also look for state-specific nonprofits if possible.

Medicaid Cover Root Canals During Pregnancy

Pregnant women’s eligibility for Medicaid is handled slightly differently. Even if you wouldn’t typically be eligible for Medicaid, you might be able to get it if you’re pregnant. This also applies to dental advantages. Even if you don’t normally receive dental coverage, you might get some when you’re pregnant in some areas.

This, as usual, varies greatly depending on the state and income level. If you have Medicaid and are expecting a child, consider the specifics to see what options are available to you.

Retroactive Medicaid Coverage

You may qualify for Medicaid to cover previous dental care in some states. Three months is the longest period this can cover. You must have qualified for Medicaid during the time that is being covered for retroactive coverage to apply.

If you were qualified for Medicaid but were not receiving it, you will be able to obtain coverage. You must review your choices with Medicaid in your state because retroactive care is not offered in every state.

Even if you don’t believe you are qualified, it’s a good idea to find out if you can receive retroactive coverage if you are new to Medicaid, just in case.


As you can see, Medicaid’s root canal coverage is far from ideal. While some people could be covered, many won’t be, and it can be difficult to comprehend the specifics of dental coverage.

Your greatest option will be a private dental insurance plan if you can obtain one. To find the coverage you require, checking into additional federal programs and nonprofit organizations might also be helpful.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Medicaid pay for tooth extractions?

Simple tooth extractions, surgical tooth extractions (if Medicaid approves them first), fillings, and one pair of dentures are all covered by Medicaid (if Medicaid supports it first). You can only purchase one pair of dentures or partials from the dental lab, but the costs do not count toward your $500 cap.

Does Medicaid cover implants for dentures?

Medicaid typically does not pay for dental implants. Low-income families who might not otherwise be able to afford dental and medical care can now get extra financial aid thanks to Medicaid. Typically, these operations are not covered by Medicaid.

Visit the official website for all great information on Medicaid covers.

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