Why you should have dental insurance as a retiree

A dentist speaks with a patient.

When you're enjoying retirement, your smile should show it. Make sure you budget for dental care or else it can be a potential costly healthcare expense in your work-free years.

Why you need dental insurance

Maybe you're hoping Medicare will cover it. But Medicare does not cover dentures or provide dental coverage. And while basic dental insurance may be enough when your teeth are healthy, strong and new, the need for more complex dental care may increase with years.

It may be further complicated by things like bone loss, dementia, stroke (which can affect swallowing), poor nutrition, and more.1 Many seniors are on multiple medications, which could also affect oral health. You should budget according to your needs.

Your options for dental insurance

If you have Original Medicare, you may want to consider a Medicare Advantage plan2.

A dental savings or discount plan works like a shopping club. It offers members discounted rates for services from a certain group of dentists. Members pay each year and/or each month.

You can also look for a stand-alone dental-only insurance plan. The costs of an average check-up (including a cleaning, X-rays, and exam) plus any out-of-pocket fees for example, with an extraction, can add up quickly.

Another option for individuals with Medicare seeking dental insurance is to find out if you can be added to your spouse's employer-sponsored plan.

Weigh all your dental insurance options. This will help you find the one that provides the most coverage while keeping out-of-pocket expenses low.

Budgeting for dental care in retirement

Most people underestimate the costs of dental care in their post-work years. But budgeting for adequate coverage is a wise investment.

Having enough dental coverage can help provide peace of mind when it comes to your oral health.

Oral health is tied to many other parts of wellness. Healthy teeth are a necessity. Know your coverage options. Find what works to keep your smile in step with that brilliant and bright retirement of your dreams.

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