Dental Plans for Seniors

Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
May 2, 2018

Three retired people having coffee and morning snacks

While seniors often make it a point to get the medical coverage that they need, they sometimes neglect getting the right dental insurance. This could be a problem, as dental care can become more expensive as you get older and your teeth and gums become increasingly susceptible to a range of conditions. Thankfully, there are a lot of options for seniors who are in search of the ideal dental plan to help cover expenses when they see their dentist.

Do You Really Need Dental Insurance in Your Golden Years? Yes!

Even if you had fabulous teeth and gums in your younger years, there is no guarantee that you won’t develop dental health problems in your golden years. After all, as your body ages, things change. Sad but true.

What are some of the common ailments that seniors face when it comes to their oral health? Well, they could include everything from cavities and root decay, to dry mouth and gum disease. But more serious concerns might include tissue inflammation that results from the use of dentures, as well as jawbone problems and an uneven bite. On top of that, seniors could have a greater risk of developing fungal infections, such as thrush, their risk of oral cancer might be higher, and the risk of losing teeth might increase. But what’s especially scary is that, when there are problems in the mouth, they could even lead to other health issues in other parts of the body, too. Yikes!

For these reasons, seeing your dentist on a regular basis is really important. Your dentist has the skills to thoroughly examine your mouth and look for signs of decay and disease. And if problems arise, your dentist can provide you with the prompt treatment necessary to restore the health of your mouth, so you’ll be able to continue showing off your smile and chewing your favorite foods without pain or difficulty.

Here’s the thing, though: even if you know that seeing your dentist is important, you might not be able to afford checkups, cleanings, and treatments if you’re on a fixed budget after you retire. And that’s where dental insurance could come in really handy!

Beware: Medicare Alone Might Not Cut It

If you’re thinking, “No big deal, I have Medicare,” think again. Medicare doesn’t actually give you routine dental care coverage. Instead, it will only step in and help when your medical needs and your dental care needs are connected, such as when you need to stay in the hospital.

But there’s hope!

  • While Medicare Part A and Part B won’t provide coverage for dental cleanings, exams, and treatments like dentures, bridges, crowns, extractions, plates, and fillings, you could sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan. This type of plan will give you routine dental care benefits, and there are a few of these types of plans that you can choose from, so you could find the one that fits your budget and needs best. This is a good option for some seniors.
  • Many seniors choose to invest in a stand-alone dental insurance option, such as the plans that are offered by Spirit Dental. In this case, you’re purchasing insurance specifically for your dental care needs, so you’ll need to pay a monthly premium in order to enjoy the perks of lower out-of-pocket costs when you visit the dentist. At Spirit, you can choose from affordable plans with or without networks, you can receive coverage for major services like implants, and you can also receive three cleanings per year, all without a waiting period when you sign up. For these reasons, a stand-alone plan might provide you with more of what you need when compared to a Medicare Advantage plan.

What About Medicaid or the ACA Marketplace?

  • If you receive Medicaid, which is available to low-income seniors, you still may not be eligible for dental benefits. That’s because those benefits are optional, so states could choose whether or not to include them. And, in the states where dental benefits for seniors are included in Medicaid, the benefits might be different from one year to the next and from one state to the next. What a headache!
  • You might be able to find a medical insurance package that includes dental benefits when you visit the ACA Marketplace at, but those will likely be few and far between. Beyond that, you might also find stand-alone dental insurance plans on the ACA Marketplace. But, before you get excited, bear in mind that you might only be able to sign up for those plans if you’ve already purchased a medical policy from the Marketplace. Plus, the federal subsidies that you might qualify for when signing up for medical insurance won’t be available for stand-alone dental insurance. So your only hope is if you can access a state-run marketplace that lets you buy a dental plan on its own, without having to get a health insurance plan as well. Frustrating, we know.

Achieve Peace of Mind with Stand-Alone Dental Insurance for Seniors!

Although the process of getting dental insurance might seem tedious, it isn’t so bad when you’re able to work with a provider like Spirit Dental. A reputable dental insurance provider will give you plenty of affordable choices, so you can find the plan that will fit your budget and give you the assurance that you’ll be able to keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape as you get older. 


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