Published: 7/17/2022

Dental insurance is something seniors should consider because older adults are at risk of a variety of oral health problems. Dental treatments are not usually covered by Medicare, so seniors will need to find another way to cover the cost of treatments. Paying out of pocket for dental care would be costly, but a good dental insurance plan can make it more affordable for seniors to access the care they need.

Medicaid and Medicare Typically Don’t Cover Dental Work

In most cases, Medicare and Medicaid don’t cover dental work for seniors. Emergency dental care may be provided in some states, but the kind of ongoing preventative care and work seniors require to keep their teeth healthy long term is something most states don’t provide. This means individuals need to arrange their own dental coverage.

Dental Insurance Offsets the Cost of Preventative Care

Dental insurance usually covers preventative care including check-ups and X-rays, as well as cleanings. These are all important things for seniors, helping them keep their teeth and gums healthy. Most plans will cover a portion of the cost of fillings, crowns or extractions, rather than the whole amount. There’s usually a limit to the total annual benefit these policies offer.

Denture fittings are typically offered on only the most comprehensive plans. Seniors who expect to require dentures, or who already have them, should check the policy they’re considering carefully to ensure it will include the care they need.

Seniors With Dentures Still Need to See a Dentist Regularly

Cavities aren’t the only thing dentists look out for and treat. In addition to taking care of the teeth themselves, dentists also look out for gum issues, including inflammation and infection. Seniors who use dentures should have their gums checked regularly and have a dentist check that the dentures fit properly. Irritated gums can lead to oral infections.