As we age, it becomes even more crucial to take care of our oral health. Dental care for senior citizens can be difficult to navigate, since routine dental care is not covered under Medicare, and sparse funds may limit plan coverage.
Here are some options for seniors:
Dental Care for Senior Citizens with Medicare
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 provide additional coverage—such as dental.
Low-Income Dental Care for Senior Citizens
Seniors 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
Another option for seniors with limited incomes is the GrinWell for You program. GrinWell for You is a community outreach program from Delta Dental of Idaho offering eligible low-income seniors free dental care up to $1250. Qualifying adults must be age 60 or older and live in the state of Idaho. For more information or to get an application call 1-866-894-3563.
Comprehensive Dental Care for Senior Citizens
Individual dental plans are a smart option for seniors who need large-scale dental work or have a health condition that requires regular dental care.
Why is dental care important?
As we get older, our risk for oral health problems increases. These can include:
- Medication, cancer treatment, 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.
It’s important to take care of your teeth as you age because oral health is connected to overall health.