Teeth whitening is popular among many individuals who wish for a brighter smile. However, not everyone can afford the sometimes high cost of this cosmetic procedure out-of-pocket. If you’re a resident of Illinois and are covered by Medicaid, you might be wondering: Does Medicaid cover teeth whitening?

Dental Coverage Under Medicaid in Illinois

Medicaid is a state and federally-funded program that provides health insurance to eligible individuals and families. It is managed at the state level, which means that each state has some flexibility in determining what services are covered under their Medicaid program. Illinois has one of the best Medicaid coverage programs in the country. Illinois Medicaid coverage typically includes essential dental services, such as:

Preventive care

This may encompass routine check-ups, cleanings, and X-rays. Preventive care reduces your risk of developing serious dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease.

Restorative services

These include procedures like fillings, root canals, and extractions.

Emergency care

Medicaid can cover treatment for dental emergencies.

Oral surgery

Certain oral surgeries may be covered, particularly when medically necessary.

Cosmetic Dentistry and Medicaid

While Medicaid in Illinois prioritizes essential dental services to maintain and restore oral health, it does not generally cover cosmetic dentistry procedures like teeth whitening. Medicaid programs across different states typically adhere to this same principle, prioritizing necessary and medically required dental services over cosmetic treatments. As such, if you’re seeking teeth whitening or other cosmetic procedures, you may find that Medicaid will not cover the cost.

Alternative Options

If you are interested in teeth whitening but are not covered by Medicaid for this cosmetic procedure, don’t be discouraged. There are alternative options to explore.

Dental Insurance

Some dental insurance plans may offer coverage for cosmetic procedures, including teeth whitening, though it’s less common than other types of coverage. Check with your dental insurance provider to understand the specific provisions of your plan.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA)

If you have an FSA or HSA, you can use pre-tax dollars to pay for teeth whitening, potentially reducing your out-of-pocket expenses.

Dental Savings Plans

Dental savings plans are discount plans that provide reduced rates on various dental treatments, including teeth whitening. This kind of plan can help make cosmetic dentistry more affordable where dental insurance falls short.

Consult Your Dentist

If you are considering teeth whitening and have concerns about the cost, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist. They can provide you with information on the various teeth whitening options available, including the most appropriate treatments for your needs and budget. 

At Smile League Dental, we are proud to provide the best teeth-whitening services in Joliet. Our knowledgeable and experienced team is happy to give you guidance and recommendations to help you achieve whiter teeth within your budget and in the most effective and safe manner. We can help you figure out what procedures are included in your Medicaid coverage or assist you in navigating your dental insurance plan. Give us a call today at 815-782-6243.