Seniors deal with special issues that affect their teeth. Gum disease, tooth decay along tooth roots, and the use of various medications can alter the oral health of seniors. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults and seniors. Research shows that treating gum disease can also help manage other chronic inflammatory conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
As you know, daily brushing and flossing can help prevent gum disease. However, only a professional dental cleaning can remove plaque and tartar above and below the gum line. Dental insurance for seniors can help alleviate the expense of dental cleanings and other services, especially for common ailments such as dry mouth, ill-fitting dentures, or failing crowns and bridges. That way, you can maintain (and afford) regular check-ups, protecting your pearly whites and preventing unexpected diseases.
Where Can I Find a Dental Plan for Seniors?
Medicare does not cover dental cleanings or other services, and Medicaid only provides limited coverage. However, dental insurance for seniors is possible through private plans set up as Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) or Dental Maintenance Organizations (DMOs).
PPOs for Seniors
PPOs typically provide:
- 100%1 coverage for preventive services, gum cleanings, and denture repairs with no waiting period
- 80%1 coverage for fillings, root canals, and oral surgery with no waiting period
- 50%1 coverage for more advanced treatments such as dental implants, dentures, and crown restorations after the first year on the plan
- A decrease in your out-of-pocket expense when selecting an in-network dentist
Plans like this usually offer a few pricing options. One option may offer benefits for most dental services at a reasonable premium. The alternative would offer lower monthly premiums but with slightly decreased benefits for some preventive and basic services.
DMOs for Seniors
For individuals living on a fixed income, DMOs are traditionally the least expensive dental insurance option for seniors. These plans typically offer:
- Predictable out-of-pocket expenses because you only pay a low co-payment (when applicable) for the service you are receiving
- No waiting periods for dental services including bridges and crowns
- No annual dollar maximum
- Selection from a network of participating dentists
Don’t Ignore Your Oral Health
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