As we age, it becomes even more crucial to take care of our oral health. Finding affordable dental care may seem difficult after retirement. It is true that routine dental care is not covered under Medicare. However, there are still a few budget-friendly options to help keep your smile shining throughout the years.
Traditional Medicare plans do not cover routine dental care. They only cover dental care if the dental services are required to protect general health. Medicare Advantage plans, or Medicare private health care plans, may offer additional coverage—such as dental.
Some Medicare Advantage Plans provide coverage for routine dental services, like checkups or cleanings. Coverage can vary widely from plan to plan and state to state. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, contact your plan to learn about covered dental services. Dental coverage providers like Delta Dental contract with Medicare Advantage to offer help paying for the out-of-pocket costs that Medicare doesn’t cover.
Low-Income Dental Care
Older adults with limited income have several options:
- Reduced-cost or free clinics can be found here. Enter your zip code to find a clinic near you.
- Donated dental services
- Dental schools
Discount Dental Care
Discount dental plans are an option for older adults who do not want to pay for an insurance plan or do not require extensive dental procedures. These plans offer members discounted rates for dental services.
Comprehensive Dental Care
If you’re looking to maintain your oral health, individual dental plans will give you the best coverage for your needs. Insurance providers like Delta Dental often cover preventive services at 100%. Having dental insurance can also provide you with cost savings on restorative and emergency dental care. Plans are affordable too, starting at $20 per person, per month.*
Depending on where you live, access to a large network of dentists may be an important factor in choosing a dental insurance provider. Delta Dental of Arizona has the largest network of dentists in the state. About 90% of licensed dentists in Arizona are in-network with Delta Dental. This means that your dentist is likely already in-network. If you don’t have a dentist, this large network makes it easy to find one you love.
Why is dental care important?
As we get older, our risk for oral health problems increases.
- Medication, cancer treatments and certain diseases can cause dry mouth. A parched palate can increase bacteria in the mouth, resulting in tooth decay.
- Gum disease is often a problem for older adults and can be worsened by certain medications, poor fitting bridges or dentures and diseases like diabetes.
- Decaying teeth can cause tooth loss. However, tooth decay is preventable. That means keeping your natural teeth is possible if you’re maintaining a proper oral health care routine.
It’s important to take care of your teeth as you age because oral health is connected to overall health. Age gracefully and keep your smile shining with proper dental care.
*As of April 2019, pricing for the Cholla Plan-765 is $19.94 per member/month. Rates are subject to change and vary by plan.