Are Dental Expenses Tax Deductible? A Simple Guide to Saving on Your Smile

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Navigating the world of taxes can feel like trying to solve a puzzle with missing pieces, especially when it comes to understanding what you can and cannot deduct. If you’ve ever found yourself sitting at the dentist’s office, wondering whether your dental expenses could give you a break at tax time, you’re not alone. Let’s break down this topic into simple terms to see how you can possibly save money on your dental care through tax deductions.

Understanding Tax Deductions for Dental Expenses

First things first: Yes, dental expenses can be tax deductible under certain conditions. According to the IRS, you can deduct medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year. This includes a wide range of dental treatments that are considered preventative, diagnostic, or for treating dental disease. Think cleanings, fillings, braces, extractions, dentures and even some cosmetic procedures if they’re deemed necessary to alleviate or prevent a physical or psychological ailment.

What Counts and What Doesn’t?

It’s important to distinguish between the dental expenses that are deductible and those that aren’t. As a rule of thumb, any treatment aimed at preventing or alleviating dental disease is deductible. This means you can include the cost of fillings, dental cleanings, braces, extractions and dentures. However, purely cosmetic procedures, like teeth whitening, aren’t deductible because they’re not considered medically necessary.

How to Claim Your Deduction

To claim a deduction for your dental expenses, you’ll need to itemize your deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A. This means you can’t take the standard deduction and deduct your medical and dental expenses. You’ll need to calculate all your deductible medical expenses, including dental, and see if they exceed 7.5% of your AGI.

Keeping Records Is Key

Documentation is crucial when it comes to claiming any tax deduction. Keep all receipts and records of your dental expenses throughout the year, including payments to dentists, orthodontists or other dental specialists. This documentation will be invaluable if the IRS has questions about your deduction or if you need to reference past expenses for future tax filings.

Tips for Maximizing Your Deduction

Plan your dental treatments: If you anticipate needing several dental procedures, consider timing them within a single tax year to surpass the 7.5% AGI threshold.

Don’t forget insurance premiums: If you pay for dental insurance premiums out-of-pocket, these costs can also count towards your medical expense deduction.

Check for eligible travel expenses: Costs for traveling to and from dental appointments can be deductible if they’re primarily for and essential to receiving medical services.


In summary, dental expenses can indeed give you a tax break, but only if they exceed 7.5% of your AGI and you itemize your deductions. By keeping good records and planning your dental care strategically, you can make the most of this potential deduction. Remember, every little bit helps when it comes to reducing your taxable income and saving money on your taxes. So, the next time you’re in the dentist’s chair, you can smile a little wider knowing your dental health might just lead to financial health come tax season.

Call or Email To Schedule a Consultation

Have questions on how to utilize your next dental treatment to help with taxes and therefore, have more money left over after Uncle Sam rolls around? Contact Fundamental Dental today to schedule a consultation at (972) 360-0096 or contact us today at Let us help you navigate your insurance benefits and find the best path to a beautiful, healthy smile!

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