Why is dental care important for seniors? Why you should get a Dental Insurance when you are a senior?
Chronic health issues are connected to gum disease known as, periodontal. These issues include; heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and diabetes. There are nearly 25% of adults between the ages of 65 and 74 who suffer from gum disease, over 30% of them have untreated cavities and almost 30% of seniors lose their teeth. Regardless of what society may except as normal, it is not part of growing old to lose your teeth. Poor dental health can lead to life a threatening illness which makes it extremely important for seniors to follow good dental hygiene practices.
Oral health concerns for seniors.
Although it may not be part of the aging process, losing teeth is still prevalent with seniors. Other concerns seniors face is their mouth changes as you age and nerves become smaller making you less sensitive to cavities. This means you may not have the customary pain associated with a cavity allowing it to grow without you realizing it exists. Other causes for poor oral health in seniors are:
* No dental insurance after retirement
* Not being able to afford prescriptions
* Not being able to pay out-of-pocket for dental care
* Lack of access to dentist
* No or little supplemental dental coverage
* Medicare does not cover most dental work
* Medicaid coverage is different state to state
How does Medicare and Medicaid cover dental?
Medicare will not cover the most basic dental work; cleanings, checkups and fillings. It will cover:
* Services that are part of a covered procedure such as reconstruction after an injury.
* Extractions being done before a treatment plan like preparing for radiation
* Examinations needed prior to organ transplant
Medicare will never cover the cost for dentures.
There are some areas you can check for senior dental care that will help you keep your teeth and mouth healthy. The OHA (Oral Health America) runs a website that is dedicated to helping the vulnerable get access to care. Their site can be found at: toothwisdon.org and it will have a list of wonderful resources for each state. Others to contact are:
* Eldercare Locator also goes by the state you live in and is a service of the Administration on Aging. They have specialists that can help you by calling- 1-800-677-1116. They can assist with health issues, transportation problems, legal concerns and more.
* The United Way in your area is also a good source to check into for health assistance. In most areas they can be reached by calling 211.
* HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) is a federal supported program for those with no insurance or limited income. This service provides help on a scale depending on income for health care. The number to contact their office is- 1-800-275-4772
* There is access to dental services for disabled, elderly or medically at risk patients with, The Dental Lifeline Network. They can be reached at- 1-888-471-6334
* The DFTH (Dentistry From The Heart) has free dental care for those in need. This is a program run by volunteer dentists and hygienists who donate their time. They are only in certain areas at certain times of the year; to find out when they will be in your area you can check their website.
* At www.Freemedicalcamps.com is a way to locate free or inexpensive dental care clinics.
* On the ADA (American Dental Association) website there is a list of dental schools in the country. They are also a possibility for low cost care as they have students gain experience in their on-campus clinics. Going to the ADA's website you will find a list of schools to see if there is one close to you.
* There is an association that aims to broaden access to affordable health care for the medically deserved called, The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. They too have a website for you to check if they have services in your area.
What to expect for dental care expenses.
Whether you have insurance or are looking for dental care, it is good to know what costs to expect for dental care. Being able to budget for care can often be helpful. Rates do vary from city to city and state to state; however to check your area for approximate costs go to: www.fairhealthconsumer.org. You can find an entire list of dental procedures that is collected by Fair through reports sent as claims to providers.
Receiving the proper dental care is vital to overall health. Bacteria can build up in your mouth that will cause your gums and teeth to be vulnerable to decay. A bacteria that can be breathed into your lungs from your mouth has been suspected as a cause for pneumonia. Protecting your teeth and gums will help to protect you.
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Any time you have questions in regard to your insurance that cannot be clarified by reviewing your policy, be sure to call us or mail us and the Goodscout Team will be more that happy to answer your health insurance questions ! It is better to ask and be sure rather than staying silent and incurring additional expenses.