Does Medicaid Cover Dental For Adults?

Dental coverage for adults through Medicaid varies greatly from state to state, with only four states offerings no coverage at all. If you reside in either Alabama, Tennessee, Delaware, or Maryland, Medicaid has no adults’ dental coverage. The remaining 46 states, along with the District of Columbia, all have some form of dental coverage.

Dental coverage can range from teeth cleaning and x-rays to emergency surgery, along with everything in between. Each state has its own policy on adults’ dental coverage, which can differ from each other. For the most accurate information on the services that Medicaid covers, be sure to visit your state’s government website.

Eligibility Requirements

For adults who are already receiving Medicaid benefits must meet no further requirements to receive dental coverage. Most states after emergency dental services as an industry-standard, while some states offer more comprehensive plans. Children enrolled in Medicaid are eligible to receive more dental assistance benefits than adults. The minimum services provided to all children include the restoration of teeth, relief of infections and pain, and overall oral health maintenance.

These services are available to children periodically throughout the year at reasonable intervals common in most dental practices. A referral from a doctor is required for every child that needs to see a dentist.

What Services Are Available In My Area?

The dental services offered by Medicaid change drastically from state to state, with new policies put into action every year. Many of these states will provide emergency dental services but nothing else; however, there are quite a few states that offer extensive dental plans. Medicaid is beneficial for low-income individuals to receive assistance paying for medical work or bills.

Many Medicaid programs limit the amount of money spent per person on their dental plan while enforcing strict regulations on the services available. In Alaska, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Virginia, dental coverage through Medicaid is only applicable to emergencies such as immediate surgery, tooth extraction, or other services to reduce pain immediately.

Adults residing in either Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, or Wyoming have access to limited dental services through Medicaid. These services are more accepting than “Emergency Only” states with a maximum annual allowance for dental needs. Most of these plans operate under an annual allowance, while others have a set list of services they offer adults yearly. Check your residing state government website for more information on your dental coverage.

For the remaining areas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin, their dental coverage through Medicaid is classified as extensive. Residents in these states are eligible for many more dental services than “Limited” status. Simultaneously, some of these states implement an annual spending cap, with exceptions for specific services. Be sure to fully understand your dental coverage through Medicaid based on your residing state for the most accurate information on which services are included in your plan.

As mentioned above, if you are a resident of either Alabama, Tennessee, Delaware, or Maryland, Medicaid does not cover any dental services. These terms are subject to change on an annual basis; hopefully, one-day reaching low-income individuals who need it most.

The Importance Of Dental Health

With the world’s ever-changing landscape today, dental hygiene is most likely not on the top list of priorities for most low-income families and individuals. Dental bills can stack up quickly if you are not covered by Medicaid or another insurance company. Staying on top of treatment and cleaning services can greatly reduce your risk of succumbing to persisting medical issues or pain. Poor oral health not only raises your risk of cardiovascular disease and oral infections, but It can also affect your personal and professional life.

The longer you go without receiving cleaning or preventative dental services, the higher your risk is for developing long-term issues. The importance of dental health is typically taught at a young age; however, statistically speaking, low-income areas are more prone to long-lasting dental issues due to unavailability in their area. Starting your children on the right path towards maintaining personal health can lead to better oral health in the future to come, keeping check-ups affordable and services predictable.

Neglecting your oral health can cause serious health issues down the road, leading to missing vital workdays or decreased employment chances. Take advantage of the dental services available in your area to ensure optimal health for a lifetime to come.


In short, yes, Medicaid does offer dental coverage for adults. Coverage details are dependent upon your residing state along with your preferred health care plan through Medicaid. Medicaid offers free or low-cost health plans for thousands of low-income families all over the country. While there are a few states that offer zero dental coverage, most states have at least some dental assistance for adults. These programs can be further explored through your Medicaid program’s website the official U.S. government site for Medicare | Medicaid or by visiting the Center for Health Care Strategies website Center for Health Care Strategies | Advancing innovations in health care delivery for low-income Americans. (

While your state may not offer dental services that apply to you, these regulations are being adjusted annually to serve the community best. Unfortunately, adult dental coverage is one of the most common services Medicaid cuts funding for, resulting in vastly wavering policies. Staying up to date on your specific program and its changes will help you plan your dentist visits without being left to pay for the bills alone.

Those who qualify for Medicaid may also qualify for other assistance programs like Lifeline. Check for eligibility in one easy click:  How To Qualify For Free Lifeline Phone Service | StandUp Wireless