Medicare and Dentistry
If you’re nearing 65 this year, or headed for blissful retirement, you’ve likely heard of your eligibility to start receiving Medicare benefits. This is great news in some aspects of coverage. Medicare is a great social program that helps build a safety net for injuries and diseases, whose treatment costs can get expensive. However, the list of benefits and services Medicare provides is limited, it won’t cover everything. There are a handful of very basic healthcare services you might be surprised aren’t covered by your new benefits plan. Being aware of the gaps in your coverage is necessary because what used to be considered a routine health care appointment, all of a sudden, might no longer be covered.
One of the biggest gaps in Medicare’s coverage is dental care. If you’re looking for a preventative cleaning or routine checkup – you’re looking to foot the bill for those expenses. Cavities fillings, oral surgeries, root canals and even dentures are not covered by Medicare’s senior plan. As people age, they grow increasingly susceptible to cavities. An increase in medications that increase dry mouth among patients come with an increased difficulty in maintaining good oral health. Dry mouth affects your teeth and gums which leads to a higher probability of gingivitis and cavities. Besides being just a nuisance to deal with, these symptoms can often be a warning sign for other greater health issues that might make someone sick, like, strokes, diabetes and pneumonia.
This makes a good oral hygiene system almost essential for any senior. Brushing, flossing, mouthwash every day. But even taking these careful measures might not be enough to stop the onset of dental problems. Routine trips to the dentist are just as important as an at-home-maintenance ritual but with Medicare not covering even these routine examinations, many seniors are finding themselves footing the whole bill for their dentist visit.
The only time Medicare will step in to cover a dental expense is a service that renders the patient hospitalized. In that case, the Medicare Part A plan will help cover some cost of the service. Beyond that, seniors are on their own with the expense.
This, is obviously, a huge inconvenience for anyone 65 or older. As we age, the teeth age too, making them, just like any other body part, more susceptible to problems and wear and tear. Most people will need dentures at a point in their life and without insurance coverage, the bottom line of that bill can get pricey.
We understand your frustration with this insurance policy. My passion since entering Dentistry has always been, bottom line, the love of helping people. If you find yourself in a sticky situation regarding your Medicare coverage, call our offices today and set up an appointment, we can talk about solutions and discuss different options available to get you the care you need and depend on.