Employee Benefits

Can an HSA Be Used for Dental Expenses? 

3 min read
Feb 02, 2024

Health savings accounts (HSAs) offer a great way to set aside pre-tax funds for health care costs. Copayments, deductibles, coinsurance, and prescriptions can all be paid by funds from an HSA — but that’s not all an HSA can cover.1

You can also use HSAs to help pay for some dental care. While dental insurance can help cover costs, an HSA can also help cover certain out-of-pocket expenses resulting from dental care and procedures.1

Let’s look at some of the eligibility requirements and get a better idea of which dental expenses are covered by an HSA.

How do I use an HSA for dental care?

According to the IRS, qualifying medical expenses may include medically necessary medications, products, procedures, or programs. These services must be designed to treat or prevent disease and help the body function properly. In terms of dental care, this may include braces and other procedures aimed at maintaining your oral health.2

Typically, there are many expenses associated with visiting the dentist that can be covered by an HSA.2 However, there are some exceptions. Let’s take a closer look at the specific dental expenses that can be covered by an HSA.

What dental expenses are HSA eligible?

HSAs can help pay for a variety of dental services and orthodontic procedures. Here are some of the specific dental procedures your HSA can help cover:2,3

  • Crowns (when non-cosmetic, and may need a letter of medical necessity (LMN))
  • Sealants (if used for the prevention or treatment of a dental disease)
  • Braces
  • Dental veneers (may be eligible with an LMN)
  • Dentures
  • Dental implants (if used for the treatment of a dental disease)
  • Dental bridges

HSAs and orthodontic expenses

HSAs can typically be used to pay for orthodontic expenses. Orthodontia can include traditional braces as well as alternatives, like Invisalign.4 You may be wondering why orthodontic expenses are considered medically necessary and not cosmetic, and it’s because improperly spaced teeth can lead to serious dental problems.Check with your plan administrator to make sure your specific orthodontic needs are HSA eligible.

What dental expenses are not HSA eligible?

Here’s a list of some of the items and procedures that can’t be paid for by your HSA:3

  • Toothbrushes
  • Teeth whitening
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash

What are general use expenses?

Generally, the items listed above won't be covered by an HSA because they’re considered “general use” or “general health services.” A general use expense is defined as anything that’s used for dental maintenance and broad medical well-being but isn’t tied to a specific medical issue.5

A toothbrush, for example, would be considered general use and not eligible for HSA coverage.5

Things to consider before using an HSA for dental expenses

When it’s time to pay your dental bills, an HSA can help ease some of the financial burden — as long as your expenses are tied to a specific medical problem.

It’s important to double check whether the specific treatments, products, or procedures you pay for are eligible for HSA coverage. Be sure to reach out to your HSA provider for details about what qualifies under your plan. 

Other things to consider:

  • Evaluate your future dental needs and contribute to your HSA accordingly.
  • Understand how an HSA can complement your dental insurance plan.
  • Be mindful of tax implications related to HSA withdrawals.
  • Ensure compliance with IRS regulations when using your HSA.

Learn about MetLife Health Savings & Spending Accounts 

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1 “Understanding HSA-eligible plans,” HealthCare.gov
2 “Publication 502 (2022), Medical and Dental Expenses,” IRS, 2023
3 “The Complete HSA Eligibility List,” HSA Store
4 “Are Braces and Orthodontics a Good Reason to Use HSA Savings?,” HSA Store
5 “Dental Care Services that Qualify Under an HSA,” HSA Store