When we talk about paying for healthcare in retirement, we often talk about the “big stuff”: an unexpected hospital stay, the rising cost of prescription drugs, long-term care.
But sometimes even the little things can throw a monkey wrench into our finances. Like a toothache we ignore because we don’t have dental insurance.
Simply put, Medicare generally doesn't cover most dental care, like cleanings, fillings, tooth extractions, dentures, dental plates or other dental devices. And the need for more complex—and more expensive—dental care may increase as you grow older.
Dental health in older adults may be further complicated by things like bone loss, dementia, stroke (which can affect swallowing), poor nutrition and more.1 Many older adults are on multiple medications, which may also affect oral health.
And for some, it’s not just a health issue. The stigma of “bad teeth” can affect us socially, as well. Reluctance to smile or the discomfort of sharing a meal with friends without badly needed dentures can lead to isolation.
We all want a smile we can be proud of, and dental insurance may give you something to smile about.