Does Medicare cover medical issues associated with oral health? - AgingCare.com

Does Medicare cover medical issues associated with oral health?

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Medicare does not cover dental. My Dad is recovering from sepsis. The doctor is almost certain it came through his gums. His bottom front teeth are all broken and rotted and the gums are badly swollen and inflamed. The doctor says the teeth need to be pulled or he is at risk for more infection. My Mom said that Medicare will not cover this because it is dental, my sister who is health proxy told her this. I was under the impression that as long as there was a medical need, medicare would pay for oral issues. Is that true? If so how would one go about appealing to Medicare?

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My husband had a tumor so the teeth (and bone) had to be removed. It seems to me that having them removed because of sepsis would be in that category also. This is done in the hospital under general anesthesia
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I have never heard of an ENT specialist extracting teeth
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Great suggestion amott6! We will look into that. If that does not work I think we have found an oral surgeon who will reduce the cost and let him pay on time. PLUS we just got some fantastic news. My sisters dentist does about three sets of pro bono dentures each year and she has offered to make up my new Dads set after his remaining teeth are pulled. What an angel!!
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You might get some help if you take him to an Eye, Ears, Throat specialist because if he pulls the teeth and treats the sepsis, he is covered by Medicare, but dentists are not. I recently got coverage for a biopsy inside my mouth by going this route. Might be worth looking into.
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Thanks everyone and no problem HelperMom! I get confused with these threads sometimes too :) So much to read and keep in mind when I respond. Sigh
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Oh, sorry! I just read your note again and see that he's already seen a doctor and is recovering from the sepsis. Phew.
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Tryingmybest, just a thought, but have you taken your dad to an emergency room? They could treat the acute sepsis and might have a referral who would treat patients with less resources. Also agree with the suggestion to look at CareCredit, although they might not approve your father based on his credit rating. (They closed my dad's account based on his late payment history, which was entirely caused by the dementia. It's so frustrating that banks and credit card companies don't understand the difference between someone who misses payments because of dementia and someone who just doesn't care!) Anyway the ER should treat the sepsis for sure, because as someone else mentioned it is very serious and can cause death.
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Medicare does not help with assisted living. Natural teeth are best, but can cost a fortune to replace/repair. Actually the least expensive route is having them pulled and adding dentures which are costing around $250 in some dental offices. One could also go to Los Algodones, Mexico near Yuma, AZ and the rates are significantly cheaper, however, you pay for what you get. Millions of seniors flock there for their cheap dental work, but beware of the work!
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Along that same line, does Medicare help with Assisted Living expenses? I've been told they do not.
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Ferris 1, it's a little late to put the horse back into the barn. Too late to take care of his teeth now so let's take care of the acute situation. IF he has other teeth left, he needs those treated as well. Perhaps dentures are a solution if the periodontal disease is very severe. Again there are agencies that can offer low cost options. Check with the Area Wide Agency on Aging too
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