Senior Dental Insurance
Medicare Health Plans is more than just Medicare plans! We work with seniors for all of their insurance needs. One of the most common types of insurance that seniors ask about is dental insurance. Since routine dental care is not included in Medicare and the “gateway” to your body is too important to ignore, seniors want dental insurance options. We represent multiple carriers and plans and believe we have the plans that will best fit your needs.
Senior Dental Insurance Coverage
Not only do seniors want coverage for their routine cleanings, seniors wants some coverage for the inevitable dental services they will need. After all, dental services can quickly add up without insurance. Senior dental needs include some of the following:
- Dental X-rays
- Root canals
- Full or partial dentures
Does Medicare Cover Dental?
Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t cover most dental care services, procedures, or supplies. However, if you receive certain dental care services or procedures in a hospital, Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) may cover them. Some Medicare Advantage plans may offer dental coverage.
Types of Dental Insurance
When searching for plans, you will typically notice three major types of dental insurance: Dental HMO, Dental PPO and Fee-for-Service plans. Here’s what each type of plan means:
- Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) plans: If you have a DHMO plan, you must choose one dentist or dental practice to receive treatment from. You will be charged a copayment, or fixed amount, for dental treatments. To see a specialist, the dentist you choose must refer you.
- Dental Preferred Provider Organization (DPPO) plans: DPPO plans offer you more choice when it comes to dentists. PPO networks include a variety of dentists that agree to treat patients with DPPO insurance at lower rates. Typically, patients with DPPO have to pay a deductible. When seeing a dentist in your DPPO network, you will usually pay a percentage of the lower rate for treatment. Your insurance company will pay for the rest.
- Fee-for-Service plans: Like DPPO plans, dental Fee-for-Service plans require you to pay a percentage of the cost of treatment. Your insurance company will pay for the rest. Fee-for-Service plans typically offer the most freedom when it comes to choosing your dentist or dental practice. Fee-for-Service plans may also be more costly, since dentists are not typically reimbursed at the same rate as DPPO dentists.
How Seniors Can Keep Their Teeth Healthy
The key to keeping your teeth healthy as a senior is properly brushing and flossing your teeth, as well as visiting your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. You want to make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride, according to Colgate. The American Dental Association (ADA) notes that fluoride prevents tooth decay and cavities. It’s also important to floss once a day, says the ADA.
What Dental Issues Do Seniors Commonly Run Into?
If you don’t floss or brush every day, you will likely run into dental problems that everyone is susceptible to, including cavities, gum disease, tooth decay, and enamel erosion. However, there are some dental issues seniors are more at risk for than any other group of people. Seniors can develop these problems even if they properly take care of their teeth.
That being said, as long as you regularly meet with your dentist and physician, you should be able to maintain the health of your teeth. Since visiting your dentist is essential to a healthy mouth as you get older, it’s important that seniors have dental insurance to help cover costs.
Here are a handful of dental issues that seniors commonly face:
- Dentures. Though dentures can improve your oral health and life in a number of ways, they do need to be properly cared for, just like your teeth. Make sure to carefully follow your dentist’s cleaning and fitting instructions. This way, your dentures will last as long as possible and will keep your mouth healthy.
- More sensitive teeth. Your teeth can become more and more sensitive as you age due to the natural gum receding process. As your gums recede, they expose sensitive areas of your teeth that aren’t protected by enamel. Extreme temperatures may cause more pain and discomfort in these areas. Using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth should help. If your sensitive teeth continue to be a problem, you should visit your dentist, as your problem may be more serious.
- Tooth decay. Since your teeth get older as you age, they are more susceptible to decay and cavities. It’s essential that you take care of them with proper oral hygiene and by regularly visiting your dentist in order to keep your teeth healthy.
- Dry mouth. Seniors commonly face the issue of having a dry mouth. While this may not seem detrimental to your teeth, saliva actually helps keep your teeth strong and wash away bacteria. If you suffer with dry mouth, speak to your dentist about ways you can stimulate saliva.
- Gum Disease. Your gum disease risk increases as you get older. The New York Times notes that in a study of people over 70 years old, 86% had at least moderate gum disease and over a quarter experienced tooth loss. It’s important to properly take care of your teeth, have a healthy diet, reduce stress, and refrain from smoking to reduce your risk of developing gum disease. Systemic diseases and certain medications can also affect the health of your gums.
Since seniors are more at risk for several dental issues, it’s important that they visit their dentist often. We understand seniors have tight budgets and that dental insurance can help you afford the costs of dental services. Call us and find out more about the different plans we represent. To compare senior dental insurance plans call us today at 855-802-1206 . We are available to help you 6am to 6pm MST, Monday through Friday.