How To Find Dentists Accepting Adult Medicaid (Over 21) (2023)

Finding dentists that accept Medicaid for adults over 21 is straightforward.

Search engine queries will only lead you in endless circles.

The Dental Benefits Manager (DBM) selected by your state publishes an online provider directory that creates a list of in-network specialty dentists sorted by proximity to your zip code.

Of course, the DBM list will have entries only if your state supports the specialized service you need. While a federal program, each state decides what dental services it covers.

Medicaid Dentist Provider Directories

Online provider directories are the surefire way to find local dentists accepting Medicaid for adults over 21. You can generate a quick list of providers sorted by distance from your zip code and filtered by specialty.

Table Of Contents

  1. Medicaid Dentist Provider Directories
    • CMS Directory
    • DBM Directories
      • DentaQuest
      • Liberty
      • MCNA
      • Delta Dental
  2. Emergency Dentists That Take Medicaid
    • Emergency Extractions
      • Health Insurance
      • Dental Insurance
    • 24-Hour Emergency
    • Open Saturday Emergency
    • Walk In Emergency
  3. Dentists That Accept Medicaid for Dentures
    • Same-Day Dentures
    • Snap-In Dentures
  4. Dental Offices That Accept Medicaid
    • Endodontist
    • Periodontist
    • Prosthodontist
    • Other Specialties
(Video) Medicaid Adult Dental Coverage Checker Overview

CMS Directory

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) maintains an online directory of dentists accepting at least one Medicaid plan for children. Many of these offices also treat adults – providedyour statesupports thespecialized servicefor patients older than 21.

Begin with the CMS online dental office finder tool.

  1. Select your state
  2. Choose the plan
  3. Enter your zip code
  4. Click accepts new patients

Remember that you must confirm that the provider takes patients associated with your Dental Benefits Manager (see below), which might have a slightly different network.

DBM Directories

The online provider directory published by the private company processing dental claims is the ultimate authority on local dentists accepting Medicaid for adults for your specific plan, as each maintains a unique network.

Look at your membership card to identify two possible private companies that your state assigned to administer your plan.

  • Managed Care Organizations (MCO) adjudicate health insurance claims
  • Dental Benefits Managers (DBM) process oral care claims

If your member card does not list the DBM, visit the MCO website to find this resource.


Most adults will use the DentaQuest online provider directory to find a neighborhood dentist that takes their specific Medicaid plan. DentaQuest is the nation’s largest DBM, supporting 30 state programs and serving over 25 million recipients.

Begin at the DentaQuest member webpageand follow these steps.

  1. Click on the link for your state
  2. Follow the “Find a Dentist” link
  3. Enter the zip code for your address
  4. Choose the exact plan for your state
  5. Search by dentist name, specialty, facility, or type


Another large group of adults could use the Liberty provider directory to locate a dentist near them that takes their Medicaid plan. Liberty operates as a DBM, supporting 2.7 million recipients in 10 states.

Start at the Liberty web-based find a dentist toolassociated with your residence state. Search by zip code, distance, and specialty, or use advanced parameters such as license or NPI number.

(Video) Making the Case for Adult Dental Coverage in Medicaid


A minority of adults will use the Managed Care of North America (MCNA) provider directory to find a neighborhood dentist that takes their Medicaid plan. As a DMB company, MCNA supports programs in 8 states.

Begin at the MCNA online find-a-dentist tool. Input your city and state into the search widget and select the plan indicated on your member ID card to ensure accurate results.

Delta Dental

Patients living in New York State might use the Delta Dental DBM provider directory to find a local dentist that takes their specific Medicaid plan. Delta Dental manages oral care benefits for several adult programs.

Utilize the Delta Dental find-a-dentist online search toolto develop your list. Verify the network connected to your plan to get the most accurate listing.

Emergency Dentists That Take Medicaid

Your ability to find local emergency dentists that take Medicaid for adults over 21 depends on the types of oral care benefits supported by your state and any extra parameters you add to narrow the field in your DBM’s provider directory.

Emergency Extractions

Adults looking for emergency tooth extractions that take their specific Medicaid plan should break down the coverage rules into two components: health and dental insurance.

Health Insurance

Medicaid covers emergency dental work nationwide under its health insurance component. You might find a dentist willing to take you as a patient if your plan honors a narrow set of claims.

Health insurance covers medically necessary dental care; arising from non-biting accidents, certain diseases, and treatments considered integral to other services included in the plan.

  • Procedures necessary to control bleeding, relieve pain or eliminate acute infections
  • Services that are required to prevent “pulpal death” and the imminent loss of teeth
  • Extractions of broken teeth resulting from a covered accident (non-biting)

Dental Insurance

Medicaid covers emergency oral care differently in each state under its dental insurance component. If your plan honors a broader set of claims, you might find a dentist willing to take you as a patient.

Medicaid covers emergency oral care that is not medically necessary in forty-four states. In these instances, tooth extractions might qualify for additional reasons.

  • Severe decay (caries)
  • Advanced periodontal disease
  • Broken teeth from biting accidents

24-Hour Emergency

Finding a 24-hour emergency dentist that accepts Medicaid for adults requires additional research. Begin at the DBM online directory to generate a list of in-network providers near your zip code.

(Video) Medicaid patients struggle to find orthodontic care

Next, perform an internet search using the provider name to surface their Bing or Google My Business pages. There you should find a listing showing their office hours.

Open Saturday Emergency

Identifying an emergency dentist that takes Medicaid for adults open on Saturday follows the same protocol. Begin at the DBM online directory to generate a list of in-network providers near your zip code.

Next, perform an internet search using the provider name to surface their Bing or Google My Business page. There you should find a listing showing the days their office is open.

Walk In Emergency

Finding an emergency dentist that takes Medicaid for adults and has availability for walk-in patients requires a different approach. Utilize the DBM provider directory to develop your list, then pick up the phone.

An office might accept walk-in recipients, but that does not mean they have dentists waiting on standby. Their schedule might already be full.

When you are in pain, you need treatment right away. Therefore, call the offices on your list to verify their openings today for walk-ins.

Dentists That Accept Medicaid for Dentures

Adults over 21 seeking nearby dentists accepting Medicaid for dentures have several factors to consider. Not only do the choices made by your state dictate your success, but the type and cost of the false teeth matter also.

Medicaid covers dentures in thirty-three states, meaning adults living in the other seventeen are out of luck and will not find a provider taking recipients unless they can afford to pay out-of-pocket.

Same-Day Dentures

Adults are unlikely to find same-day dentures accepting Medicaid due to the least expensive treatment rule. Same-day or immediate false teeth represent premium services that cost more than the alternative: waiting weeks for a lab to fabricate the appliance.

The least expensive alternative treatment clause built into this publicly-funded insurance program means that your dental benefits manager will probably deny claims for same-day dentures because a cheaper option exists.

(Video) What options do you have when Medicaid denies your dental implants?

Snap-In Dentures

Adults are also unlikely to find Snap-in dentures that take Medicaid because the insurance company will deem them cosmetic. Snap-on dentures fit over dental implants, another treatment option that is more expensive than other alternatives.

Medicaid does not cover dental implants in any state unless medically necessary. Therefore, the Snap-in dentures would have to meet a strict standard.

  • The treatment addresses an underlying health problem, such as osteoporosis affecting the upper or lower jaw
  • The medical issue arose as a side effect of another covered service, such as prescription drugs causing dry mouth

Dental Offices That Accept Medicaid

Your ability to find dental offices near your neighborhood that accept Medicaid for adult patients over 21 depends on their specialty and the oral care benefits supported by your state.


Consult your DBM’s provider directory to find nearby endodontist offices that accept your specific Medicaid plan, provided your state supports this benefit for adults. An endodontist is a dentist specializing in diagnosing and treating tooth pain and performing root canal treatment.

Medicaid covers root canals and other endodontic treatment in twenty-five states, or about half of the country. A root canal eliminates dangerous bacteria by removing tooth pulp, cleaning and disinfecting the remaining dentin, and sealing the tooth.


Adult patients should utilize their DBM’s provider directory to get a list of local periodontist offices that take their Medicaid plan, assuming their state supports benefits for gum surgery. A periodontist is a dentist specializing in preventing, diagnosing, and treating gum disease.

Medicaid covers periodontal treatment in twenty-six states or slightly more than half the country. Recipients above 21 living in these states might find a provider willing to provide these services.

  • Deep cleaning (root planing and scaling)
  • Gingival flap surgery to treat late-stage disease
  • Gum grafting to address receding gum lines


Consult your DBM’s online directory to find neighborhood prosthodontist offices accepting your specific Medicaid plan, understanding that your state may or may not support this benefit. A prosthodontist is a dentist specializing in restoring missing tooth and jaw structures.

A prosthodontist can restore missing teeth and jaw structures using dentures or dental implants. Your treatment choice has a profound impact on coverage.

  • Medicaid covers dentures for adults in thirty-three states
  • Medicaid covers implants only when medically necessary

Other Specialties

Adult recipients should turn to their DBM provider directory to find area dental offices specializing in other areas, such as orthodontia and oral surgery. However, these two specialties are more complex, warranting a more in-depth analysis.

Orthodontists accepting Medicaid for adults must establish a medically necessary reason before the plan will honor claims, as the dental coverage ceases after age 21.

(Video) Teeth Aren't Just for Chewing. So Why Doesn't Medicaid Cover Dental?

  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ or TMD) requiring bite adjustments
  • Sleep apnea occurs when crooked teeth restrict or block airflow

Oral surgeons accepting Medicaid for adults have two sets of criteria corresponding to its dual nature as health insurance nationwide and dental coverage varying by state.

  • Bone-impacted wisdom teeth extractions are medically necessary and covered by the health insurance element nationwide
  • Gum-impacted wisdom teeth extractions are not medically necessary and supported by the dental insurance component in thirty-one states


1. New! Dental Health Coverage for Adults!
(Virginia Medicaid)
2. Adult Medicaid Dental Benefits in Pennsylvania & Benefit Limit Exceptions
(Pennsylvania Health Access Network)
3. Petition aims to stop backlog of Medicaid dental patients
4. How Much Do Dental Implants Cost, Medicaid, Medicare and Insurance
(Ballantyne Dentistry)
5. Data-Driven Insights on Medicaid Dental Care Programs
(American Dental Association (ADA))
6. Medicaid Compliance for the Dental Professional
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rueben Jacobs

Last Updated: 04/06/2023

Views: 5881

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (77 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rueben Jacobs

Birthday: 1999-03-14

Address: 951 Caterina Walk, Schambergerside, CA 67667-0896

Phone: +6881806848632

Job: Internal Education Planner

Hobby: Candle making, Cabaret, Poi, Gambling, Rock climbing, Wood carving, Computer programming

Introduction: My name is Rueben Jacobs, I am a cooperative, beautiful, kind, comfortable, glamorous, open, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.