Oral health is extremely important for overall health, and since the needs of seniors regarding dental care are more advanced, choosing the right type of plan is of primordial importance.
The CDC- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- released some statistics according to which approximately 1/3 of the adult population over 65 years old struggle with untreated dental cavities.
Also, well over 40% put up with periodontal disease, which can easily lead to permanent tooth loss if not treated in time.
Seniors need to find appropriate dental coverage which also fits their available budget, and this is quite challenging. However, there are a few tips you should keep in mind when shopping around for dental insurance for seniors:
- Always discuss the issue with your dentist first. The dentist will tell you which dental plans he accepts, and will be able to recommend a suitable plan tailored to your needs. Dentists do not want to lose business, and you want to keep your dentist- so it is a win- win situation to ask him first about the best dental plan.
- Ask around- talk to your kids, friends and acquaintances and ask them to recommend a good insurer. Compile a list with top 3 or 5 insurers and then enquire about the available plans for seniors.
- You should always opt for dental insurance which does not include unnecessary dental treatments which you are unlikely to need such as dental braces for example. Look for specific coverage for treatments that you most need such as yearly checkups, dental cavities treatment, periodontal disease treatments, etc.
- Always comparison shop before making the final decision. Compare several plans, what they include, the costs, the potential extra charges and other such details. Review carefully the features and make sure you read and understand the main provisions exclusions/limitations on your policy. Price is a major factor but not a determining one when you select dental insurance.
- Dental plans generally do not cover for cosmetic dental treatments. For example, if you would like to remove the coffee and tea stains from the teeth, you would need to pay out of pocket for dental whitening.
Also, if you would like to wear dental veneers, this is a procedure that is expensive and not covered by dental insurance.
You should also check out the dental plans options for seniors through the AARP if you are a member. The AARP dental insurance plans offer the following benefits:
• Dental implant coverage – some limitations apply such as giving coverage only after one full year of continuous enrollment and annual copayments and deductibles maximums apply
• Two different dental plan options to choose from
• For two years, the premiums remain the same, guaranteed
• Three professional dental cleanings per year
• Family & Individual enrollment options to choose from
• Access to an extensive database of dentists