Skip to main content

Are Dental Expenses Tax-Deductible? Maybe.

By Jill Feilmeier on February 9, 2017 in Insurance

Tax season is not known to bring many smiles. In fact, if you Google “Tax Season” and view the image results, you'll be flooded with pictures of countdown calendars, red ink, messy stacks of file forms, and snarky cartoons with panicked looks.

Despite the grim appearance, don’t dread tax season – we're here to help! Many times, dental and medical expenses can be deducted when it meets Internal Revenue Service (IRS) criteria. Below are a few common dental expenses that may be deductible and tips to keep you smiling while filing:

Whose health expenses can you claim?

Your spouse, dependent, or decedent. You can only claim the medical and dental costs you paid this year, regardless of when the services were rendered. There may be exceptions for decedents (someone who has passed away).

What health expenses can you include?

Almost always, any preventive care is a prospective write-off. Preventive dental treatments such as cleanings, sealants, or fluoride treatments can be tax-deductible. Extensive eligible treatments may include fillings, braces and dentures. Routine wellness checkups and diagnostic tests may be tax-deductible, too. They can also help detect and manage severe health problems early on.

If you're on a roll, your mileage might be deductible as well. You can claim your travel costs for dental and medical care. This includes public transportation, mileage, tolls, and parking fees. How do you determine whether your expenses meet IRS criteria?


Your total dental and medical expenses must exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income. If you're over 65 years old, your dental and medical expenses must exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.

You can learn more requirements and possible write-offs by viewing the full list of tax-deductible medical and dental expenses. Your tax consultant is a great resource to review potential deductions for medical and dental expenses with you – don't forget to check in with her if you have any questions.

Here's to a happier tax season!