Costs of dental care too high for some seniors

General

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the cost of seeing a dentist for older Americans is too high and many are unable to access preventive dental care or treatment to keep their mouths healthy.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that all adults over 60 get annual dental exams, even if they aren’t experiencing tooth pain or other obvious problems.

Unfortunately, dental care is often a challenge for many older adults who typically have health coverage through Medicare. The federal health program doesn’t cover regular dental care, producing a financial obstacle for older adults.

With potential health consequences that can reach far beyond teeth, the report notes that dental care for older adults is often “overlooked,” and that major disparities exist in those who have access to and receive regular dental care.

In the U.S. around 29 percent of adults 65 and older had dental insurance in 2017, and about 66 percent saw a dentist in the last year, according to the survey. These percentages are much lower than younger adults with private insurance.

About 70 percent of adults 65 and older have some form of gum disease – compared to about 47 percent of adults overall. Caused by poor oral hygiene, gum disease has also been linked to smoking, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and it can lead to tooth loss.

According to the CDC data, in 2017, nearly 8 percent of older adults didn’t receive the dental care they needed in the last year because they couldn’t afford it. Those rates were significantly higher for older adults who were Hispanic or black, between the ages of 65 and 74 or living below or near the poverty level.

And the situation is worse for those who already have oral health problems. In 2017, only about 15 percent of older adults who had lost all of their teeth had dental insurance – compared with about 33 percent who still had their own teeth.

With fixed incomes and no insurance, seniors are choosing to skip visiting the dentist regularly, even though many report that their mouths are dry and painful and they have difficulty biting and chewing, (not to mention avoiding smiling and social interaction if they have missing or damaged teeth).

American Dental Group’s plan for seniors provides the opportunity to obtain affordable treatment for preventative dental care as well as existing oral health problems.

American Dental Group offers discounted memberships for seniors 65 and older.  As a Colorado company partnering with local hometown dentists, our members receive high quality dental care from the state’s best general dentists as well as specialists and receive discounts on all dental treatments including, orthodontics, cosmetic procedures, dentures and implants.

Saving our members more than the best dental insurance, ADG provides discounts to family’s, individuals and small groups, with no age restrictions, no waiting periods, and no annual maximums.

Give us a call to start saving now 800-633-3010

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