The simple answer is that generally, Medicare will not cover you for dental costs except in very specific instances. Most people assume that because Medicare takes care of most medical costs for seniors it will also take care of dental and optical costs. Unfortunately, these are costs that you will have to pay for yourself. You will find that procedures such as routine dental checkups, cleanings, root canals, dentures, bridges and others are not covered under Medicare. You can get coverage if you go in for a medical procedure that requires some dental work. However, even if your bill is paid in this particular instance you will have to take care of all supplemental care yourself.
What Medicare options do seniors have?
Dental care is very important throughout your life and becomes even more so as you get into your senior years. Your teeth age just like the rest of your body and without them you will not be able to live a healthy lifestyle. One way to make sure that you don’t have large dental bills to pay in your later years is to take care of your teeth now. You should see your dentist on a regular basis for checkups so that any problems can be arrested in their infancy. You should also make sure to brush three times a day as recommended and floss, as well as flush your mouth with fluoride mouthwash. Eat a proper diet and avoid sugary foods and drinks which can only lead to cavities.
As for options for dental care there are several that are available. You can pay for all costs out of pocket, as some seniors choose to do. However, this will only work if you need minimal dental care. If you require complicated procedures such as root canals they can cost thousands of dollars which you may not be able to afford.
You can pay for some costs through a Medicare Advantage plan, and you will find that some quarters recommend that you take up this plan in order to cover dental fees. However, what you ought to keep in mind is that even with Medicare Advantage you still don’t get full dental care because there are some procedures that will not be covered and you will have to pay for them out of pocket.
The best thing you can do is to buy your own private dental insurance. There are companies that have policies designed for seniors and if you look carefully you can get an excellent deal. One good place to ask would be with the company that provides a free Medicare Supplemental Plan Quotes. These are insurance brokers and they often have policies that cover all aspects of senior medical care supplement insurance. They may present you with several different dental plans that you can choose from. Make sure you take some time and study each carefully to see what is offered and whether it will take care of your current and future dental needs.
If you like you can also look for an independent insurance company to provide you with a dental plan. These plans also have several different plans that they may offer you but don’t let them push you in any particular direction – you should choose the plan that offers you the most benefits. Make sure that the plan is accepted by the dentist that you use; you shouldn’t have to change dentists just because you have a new insurer. You should also look into any additional fees that you will be required to pay, such as deductibles.
All this may sound very complicated and you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed. It is always a good idea to work through your options with someone younger who understands dental plans for seniors and can help you look at each plan carefully to assess what is right and what isn’t. You can ask someone in the family to help you, or you can ask your doctor to refer you to an individual who can give you unbiased advice. This is not to say that you should leave the decision to them but it is your Medicare dental and your money so the final decision has to come from you.
To make sure that you don’t need to see your dentist very often you should take proper care of your teeth. Make sure that you brush at least twice a day and if you have problems with motion you can invest in an electric toothbrush. You shouldn’t skip your dental appointments either. Your dentist will be able to detect and treat problems before they become too serious.