Medicaid Coverage for Dental Care in North Carolina

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Understanding the importance of dental care and the challenges many individuals face when it comes to accessing affordable treatment. In this article, we aim to provide you with comprehensive information about Medicaid coverage for dental care in North Carolina. Our goal is to help you navigate the complexities of the healthcare system and find the resources you need to maintain optimal oral health.

Overview of Medicaid in North Carolina

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides healthcare coverage for low-income individuals and families. In North Carolina, Medicaid is administered by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS). The program aims to ensure that eligible individuals have access to essential medical services, including dental care.

Dental Coverage under Medicaid in North Carolina

Medicaid coverage for dental care in North Carolina is available for eligible individuals, particularly children and adults who meet specific criteria. The coverage includes a range of preventive and treatment services to address oral health needs. Here are the key aspects of dental coverage under Medicaid in North Carolina:

Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT)

EPSDT is a comprehensive program that provides preventive and restorative dental services to children enrolled in Medicaid. It covers regular check-ups, cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants, and necessary treatments such as fillings, crowns, and extractions. EPSDT ensures that children receive the necessary care to maintain healthy smiles and prevent future dental problems.

Enhanced Dental Benefits for Pregnant Women

Medicaid offers enhanced dental benefits for pregnant women to promote their oral health during pregnancy. These benefits include oral exams, cleanings, and treatments for dental conditions that could adversely affect the health of the mother or the developing fetus. By addressing dental issues promptly, Medicaid helps ensure a healthy pregnancy and birth outcomes.

Limited Dental Coverage for Adults

While Medicaid dental coverage for adults in North Carolina is more limited compared to that for children and pregnant women, some essential services are covered. These services typically include emergency dental care, extractions, and limited restorative treatments. It’s important to note that coverage for adults may vary, and certain procedures may require prior authorization.

Dental Managed Care Organizations (MCOs)

Medicaid dental services in North Carolina are delivered through dental managed care organizations (MCOs). These MCOs contract with dental providers to offer comprehensive care to Medicaid beneficiaries. It’s essential to choose a dental provider within the network of the MCO you are enrolled in to ensure coverage and access to services.

Accessing Medicaid Dental Services in North Carolina

To access Medicaid dental services in North Carolina, individuals must be eligible for the Medicaid program. Eligibility is determined based on various factors, including income, household size, and specific categories such as children, pregnant women, and disabled individuals. The NC DHHS website provides detailed information on eligibility criteria and the application process.

Once enrolled in Medicaid, it’s crucial to select a dental provider within your chosen MCO’s network. You can find a list of participating dentists on the MCO’s website or by contacting their customer service. When scheduling an appointment, ensure that the provider accepts Medicaid and verify any additional requirements or documentation needed for your visit.


Maintaining good oral health is vital for overall well-being, and Medicaid coverage for dental care in North Carolina aims to make it accessible for eligible individuals. By understanding the available services and navigating the Medicaid system, you can access the necessary dental treatments and preventive care to keep your smile healthy and bright.


  • Medicaid provides dental coverage for eligible individuals in North Carolina, including children, pregnant women, and limited services for adults.
  • The Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program offers comprehensive dental services for children.
  • Enhanced dental benefits are available for pregnant women to ensure oral health during pregnancy.
  • Dental managed care organizations (MCOs) deliver Medicaid dental services, and it’s important to choose an in-network provider.

Useful Resources:

  1. North Carolina Medicaid – Dental Services
  2. North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
  3. American Dental Association – Medicaid

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