Taking proper care of your oral health is essential at any age, and you might find there are special plans designed for seniors . If you do not have a dental plan that takes care of regular checkups, cleanings, and other treatments and procedures that guarantee your teeth and gums are in good shape, you might wait too long to avoid seeing a dentist until it is too late.
It’s best not to wait until you’re already in pain – by that point, the problem could be more severe and exponentially more expensive. With several plans available at your disposal, you can settle on a basic dental coverage for general dental care or you can even choose a major- care coverage.
What is Dental Insurance?
Dental insurance can be defined as a form of health insurance designed to cover a portion of the total costs associated with preventive, minor, and some major dental care.
Is it covered by Medicare/Medicaid?
Medicare/Medicaid was not designed to capture dental care; hence the coverage of costs is limited . Most dental care procedures or supplies such as fillings, cleanings, tooth extractions, dental plates are not covered by Medicare. However, Medicare can step in during specific occasions, such as during inpatient hospital care in case you require emergency or complex dental procedures even though dental care is not covered.
Saving Money with Dental Insurance
Dental plans will help seniors and persons of any age to better manage dental care expenses. The eventual costs associated with failure to take care of oral health is usually much more. Individuals with no dental coverage obviously lack routine dental care. Consequently, whenever a problem arises, the dental treatment involved will often be more expensive than the costs associated with dental insurance plans.
In general, if you end up requiring a lot of dental treatment, dental insurance always provides excellent value for money. Also, poor oral health often results in other major problems such as heart diseases or diabetes, which will require expensive treatment.
What Are Your Options?
There are several dental benefit plans available to choose from. Here we take a look at some of the plans:
Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO): This plan combines regular indemnity insurance with a union of insurance-company-contracted dentists to offer specific services at set fees.
Dental Health Maintenance Organizations (DHMO)/Capitation Plans: under this plan, each contracted dentist is assigned patients, and the dentist is usually prepaid certain amounts for respective patients. Dentists are then obligated to provide services to those patients at reduced or no costs.
Indemnity Plans: This plan is at times referred to as ‘traditional’ insurance. With this plan, claims paid by the insurance company are based on the procedures performed and are usually a percentage of the charges. This plan gives patients the freedom to choose their preferred dentists.
Direct Reimbursement plan: With this plan, benefits are not based on the type of treatment but instead they are pegged on the amount of money spent. This plan is self-funded and allows patients to visit their preferred dentists.
Point of Service Plans: A patient with a managed care dental plan has the option of receiving treatment from an out-of-network provider, but with the disadvantage of getting reduced benefits compared to if the patient had chosen an in-network provider.
Where Can You Find Additional Information?
Information about dental plans can be found on a variety of sources that include consultations with health professionals, browsing internet sites such as Wikipedia, and going through publications such as “Dental Benefits: An Introduction” etc.
Which Companies Offer These Kind of Plans?
Below are the top five dental plan companies:
UnitedHealthOne Dental Insurance: best suited for family plans
Delta Dental Insurance: provides the best options for families on a budget
Humana Dental Insurance: it is reputable for giving attractive discounts
Cigna Dental Insurance: guarantees best global coverage
Ameritas Dental Insurance: provides enticing rewards programs.
The Bottom Line
Proper dental care is usually expensive, and especially if you do more than just basic cleanings and preventive care. However, obtaining a dental insurance plan will help you mitigate the expenses involved with preventive care while softening the blow on major dental procedures. Many dental plans do not have age restrictions and accept customers of any age.
However, there are plans that may offer age-relevant benefits; for instance, in many states, there are plans suited for seniors, which include hearing aids coverage. It would be best if you did some research and shopped around to find a favorable insurance plan for you. The potential savings may be well worth your research.
 “Oral Health: A Window to Your Overall Health.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, June 4, 2019. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475.
 “Dental Services.” Dental service coverage. Accessed July 17, 2020. https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/dental-services.
 “Types of Dental Plans.” Types of Dental Plans | American Dental Association | Center for Professional Success. Accessed July 17, 2020. https://success.ada.org/en/dental-benefits/dental-plan-overview.
 “The Best Supplemental Dental Insurance.” Best Supplemental Dental Insurance | DentalPlans.com. Accessed July 17, 2020. https://www.dentalplans.com/dental-information/dental-insurance/best-supplemental-dental-insurance.