How to Get Dental Care in Houston if You Are a Senior Citizen on Medicare

dental care houston medicare

How to Get Dental Care in Houston if You Are a Senior Citizen on Medicare


In this community resource guide, you will learn how to find dental care in Houston to treat you if you are a senior with no dental coverage.

If you are a senior citizen on Medicare, you may be wondering how to get dental care in Houston. Dental care is not covered by Original Medicare, so it can be difficult to find affordable dental services. However, there are several options available for seniors who need dental care and do not have insurance.

In this guide, we will explain the different ways that you can get dental services in Houston, regardless of your income, age, or Medicare plan.

Let’s get started!

Does Medicare Cover Dental Costs?

No. Original Medicare will not cover the cost of many dental services that you need. This includes things like dental procedures, or supplies, like cleanings, fillings, tooth extractions, dentures, dental plates, or other dental devices.  

That being said there are a few exceptions where Medicare will cover the cost of dental services for seniors.

2 Situations Where Medicare Will Cover Dental Costs

There are two situations where Medicare coverage may pay for dental care in Houston. Those are:

  1. Your need emergency dental work.
  2. You sign up for a Medicare Part C plan (aka Medicare Advantage).

1.) Medicare Part A Paying For Dental Care (Emergency Dental Work)

Your Medicare Part A can cover the cost of dental care when it is related to a covered medical procedure. For instance, if you were in a car accident and needed to have your jaw reconstructed, then your Medicare Part A could cover those dental services. Potentially extractions could be covered by Part A if you needed them to prepare you for treatment of jaw disease.

Essentially, Medicare Part A will potentially cover dental treatment that is related to another serious medical condition. Medicare Part A (or Part B) will not cover routine dental services. If you signed up for a Medicare Part C plan, it could potentially pay for routine dental services in Houston.

2.) Medicare Part C Paying For Dental Care

Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage provides seniors with a private health insurance plan that replaces Original Medicare. These plans can offer additional benefits, like dental coverage.

A majority of Medicare Advantage plans include some form of dental coverage, which can help pay for routine dental services in Houston. For example, dentist visits, cleanings, fillings, and extractions may all be covered by your Part C plan.

You should review the specific details of your particular policy to see what is and is not covered. If you are happy with the current coverage that you have through Original Medicare, you do not need to switch to a Part C plan. However, if you are looking for more comprehensive dental coverage than what is offered under Original Medicare alone, then a Part C plan could be an alternative to help you afford dental care in Houston.

If you currently have Original Medicare but are interested in signing up for Medicare Advantage (for its potential dental coverage) you can contact the Texas SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program). This is a state-managed service that offers citizens advice and explanations of healthcare insurance plans like Medicare Advantage.

Visit the Texas SHIP website or call them at 800.252.9240 to learn more about specific Medicare Advantage plans that offer dental coverage in Houston.

Harris County Area Agency On Aging Pays For Dentures (there is a waitlist though) 

If you are on a fixed income and need affordable dentures in Houston, consider contacting the Harris County Area Agency on Aging. They do help Harris County seniors pay for the cost of dentures and other dental care. The only potential barrier is the time you will have to wait to get help with paying for dentures. At the time of writing this the current wait time to get low-cost or free dentures in Houston is 1 to 2 years.

Editor’s Note: Like the Texas SHIP, the Area Agency on Aging can also help you to select a Medicare Advantage plan that provides dental services in Houston. When you call them be sure to ask about dental plans if you are interested in affordable dental coverage in Houston.

To get more information on getting help with dentures in Houston, call the Area Agency on Aging at 832.393.4301. You can also visit their website for more information.

Harris Health Dental Services For Seniors

The Harris Health System (these are the “Gold Card clinics”) also has low-cost dental clinics in Houston to potentially help a Medicare beneficiary with dental services.

Editor’s Note: To qualify for these dental services you need to either apply for the Gold Card with Harris Health or have your own private insurance or Medicaid or Medicare.

Their dental program provides services like:

  • Exams
  • Cleanings
  • Fillings
  • Extractions
  • Affordable full and partial dentures in Houston

There are 5 dental clinics that are located in SW Houston, 3rd Ward, Aldine, Acres Homes, Sunnyside, and Pasadena. For more information on the dental services, they provide to seniors call the Harris Health Dental appointment phone number at 713.757.0572.

Low-Cost Dental Clinics In Houston To Treat Seniors With No Dental Coverage

There are a number of dental clinics in Houston that offer low-cost services to seniors with no dental coverage.

These clinics are not free but they will bill you based on sliding scale fees. This means you are charged according to your monthly income. Someone with a monthly income of $4000 would pay more for dental care than someone on a fixed income of $1800 per month. The bottom line with sliding scale fees is they will work with you to get you an affordable rate.

Below are low-cost clinics in Houston that care provides treatment to seniors with Medicare: 

Houston Dental Clinic Description Contact
IBN Sina This low-cost dental provider in Houston has clinics in West Houston, SW Houston, and Clear Lake. They offer services like exams, cleanings, fixing bridges, offer dentures.  281.977.7462
Denver Harbor Clinic This dental clinic for seniors is located in East Houston in the Denver Harbor neighborhood.  713.674.3326
Greater Houston Dental Society This is a nonprofit that can provide referrals to senior citizens in Houston who are seeking affordable dental care. In addition, they can help you resolve a complaint with a dentist or offer a listing of emergency after-hours dental care options in Houston 713.961.4337
Houston Community College – Hygiene Program  The HCC Dental Clinic treats everyone. No insurance is needed and there are no income requirements to receive dental services. Exams, x rays, cleanings, and sealants are offered.  713.718.7292
The Center Houston The Center for Pursuit (formerly the Center) offers dental services in Houston to children and adults with special needs. 713.525.8462
Legacy Clinic Legacy Community Health Services provides dental services to both children and adults via clinic in Baytown, Montrose, SW Houston, and 5th Ward.  832.548.5000
Pasadena Health Center Seniors in Pasadena, TX can get affordable dental care here. They offer deep scalings, dentures, partials, extractions, root canals, cleanings, exams, and more.  713.714.5386
San Jose Clinic This one is located in Houston’s Midtown neighborhood.  They can help seniors with dentures, crowns, root canals, extractions, and general care.  71.228.9411
University of Texas School of Dentistry Houston UT School of Dentistry Houston offers services to children and adults.  Services are provided by students in the UT dental programs. Students are however supervised by faculty and dentists.  Dental hygiene care, comprehensive care, and urgent care is offered at UT School of Dentistry.  713.486.4000

You can see the listing of low-cost dental clinics in our guide titled How To Find Affordable Dental Care In Houston For The Uninsured. In this article, you will find a listing of clinics with addresses and specific dental services that they offer.

Healthcare For The Homeless (Dental Work For The Homeless In Houston)

The Healthcare for the Homeless clinic offers dental services to homeless senior citizens in Houston. Their homeless Houston dental clinic offers services like:

  • Dentures to the homeless in Houston
  • Cleanings
  • Exams
  • Extractions
  • Root canals
  • Crowns and bridges
  • And more…

Editor’s Note: You do not need Medicare coverage to get dental care here. You will likely need a referral or homeless letter to prove you have limited funds.

This homeless dental clinic operates Monday through Friday. It is located at 1934 Caroline Street, Houston, TX 77002. You can call the Healthcare for the Homeless Houston phone number at 713.286.6140.

Conclusion

If you are a senior with no dental coverage there are resources available in Houston to help you pay for dental care. Those resources include:

  • Considering a Medicare Advantage plan that comes with dental coverage.
  • Contact Area Agency on Aging to potentially get free dentures in Houston (there is a waitlist).
  • Visit a Harris Health dental clinic like the one on Griggs for help with dentures.
  • Find a low-cost dental clinic near you that operates on a sliding scale.
  • Visiting the Healthcare for the Homeless clinic to get dental care if you are homeless in Houston.

If you have any questions about ways to get affordable dental work in Houston if you are a senior citizen on a fixed income, just leave a comment below.

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