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Are Dental Implant Tax Deductable?

I’m scheduled for dental implant surgery tomorrow and it just occurred to me that it MIGHT be tax deductible. If so, is there anything I need to know or hoops I have to jump through? I’ve only got a day to figure this out.


Dear Jake,

Diagram of dental implant components and a dental implant in the bone next to a natural tooth

You’ve made a great choice on your tooth replacement. Dental implants are the closest thing to having a healthy, natural tooth in your mouth again. Your question is also perfect timing for the end of the year! To answer your question, yes, dental implants can be tax deductible under IRS Topic 502: Medical and Dental Expenses. However, as you would expect with the government, there are some catches.

7.5% of Your Gross Income is the Magic Number

It’s not a straight forward deduct the cost of this procedure type of thing. First, you will have to itemize each expense. Then, you can only deduct the cost of what goes above 7.5%. Let’s say your gross income is $50,000 to make this simple. That means the first $3,750 you have to cover without claiming it. Anything over that is deductible.

The good news is this does not apply to individual procedures. You can itemize all your medical and dental expenses. Then, anything over whatever your magic number is will be what is deductible. Be aware, that whatever your insurance covers cannot be applied to the cost.

Consider an HSA for Next Year

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) allow people to deduct pre-tax money to place into an account for use in medical and dental costs. Typically, these funds are placed on an HSA Debit Card that you can use with your medical and dental providers. Human resources should be able to set you up with one if you don’t have it already. This is just one more way to keep some of your hard earned money.

A word of warning for future readers. Tax laws change each year, but these are accurate as of the date at the top of this post. It is always best to check with a tax professional.

This blog is brought to you by Moline Dentist Dr. Thomas Goebel.


Zoom Whitening and Marijuana Stains

I smoke medical marijuana. It’s caused a funky greenish tint and film to my teeth. I have four job interviews coming up fairly soon and want to get my teeth up to snuff. I don’t think I have enough time for the normal at-home type of whitening a lot of dentists do and wondered how effective zoom whitening would be in my situation.


Dear Kris,

Patient under a zoom whitening light

While Zoom Whitening is fast and effective at getting rid of tooth stains, there are some things you’ll need to do ahead of time in order for it to work. No matter what method of teeth whitening you choose to do, you will need to have a cleaning done. Think of your teeth as a canvas. Unless the canvas starts off clean it is going to have an impact on your result. When you have film and calculus on your teeth, the results will be splotchy. That will not be a good look for your job interviews. As a result, I would start by getting a cleaning done. If you don’t have a regular dentist, look for one who offers Zoom Whitening and you can use the same dentist for both procedures. Many dentists will require a cleaning before any form of teeth whitening either way.

Your Teeth and Marijuana

Some good news for you is that if you brush your teeth immediately after smoking, the stains are fairly easy to remove. You will need to be aware that pot smokers have a much higher incidence of gum disease and build calculus on their teeth faster than most people. It will be very important going forward that you get regular checkups and cleanings.

Gum disease is especially serious because if left untreated you can actually lose your teeth. In the advanced stages of gum disease, your teeth can literally just fall out. Taking the simple precaution of regular oral hygiene at home as well as twice yearly visits to your dentist, you can save your teeth and keep them looking as brilliant as the day you have your Zoom whitening done.

This blog is brought to you by Moline Dentist Dr. Thomas Goebel.