For the 44.7 million people over the age of 65 in the United States, dental care is as important as ever, but often times more neglected than ever. As we grow older, our teeth need special care in order to stay healthy, but many seniors aren’t getting the dental care they need.
PERFECT TEETH dentists accept many Medicare Advantage plans because we believe people of all ages should have access to the quality, professional dental care you deserve.
Don’t Retire From Dental Care When You Turn 65
According to the 2015 Health, United States report compiled by the US Department of Health & Human Services, a quarter of people age 65 and older haven’t seen a dentist in the past five years. There are multiple factors keeping seniors from getting the dental care they need including financial difficulties, impaired cognitive skills, immobility, or fear of seeing a dentist after not going for a long time.
While your options for insurance might change at 65, the need for dental care never does. Quality preventative dental care helps prevent gum disease, tooth loss, and other health complications for seniors. If these conditions are not treated, teeth can become painful, loose, or fall out. This causes chewing problems and changes in appearance and self-esteem. The bacteria that cause gum disease can also increase the risk of coronary heart disease, aneurysms, and other health problems.
Common Dental Conditions For Seniors
PERFECT TEETH screens seniors for dry mouth, tooth and gum disease, oral cancer, and helps with ways to maintain proper oral hygiene. Here are a few more details about common dental conditions for seniors.
- Dry mouth (xerostomia). Dry mouth is a common side effect of certain medications, medical problems, dehydration, radiation, and chemotherapy. Without enough saliva, chewing, eating, swallowing, and wearing dentures can be difficult. It also increases the risk for tooth decay.
- Cavities. Children and senior citizens are the two groups at highest risk for cavities. About 50% of people over 75 years old have root cavities affecting at least one tooth in their mouth. Poor oral hygiene due to forgetfulness, arthritis, loss of eyesight, stroke, and decreased cognitive abilities can increase the chances of developing cavities.
- Periodontitis. This is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports your teeth. About 23% of 65- to 74-year-olds have severe periodontal disease. Ill-fitting dentures and fillings are prime locations for gum disease causing bacteria.
- Oral Cancer. Oral and pharyngeal cancers are diagnosed in 31,000 Americans each year. These cancers are primarily diagnosed in the elderly. Dentists can provide early detection for precancerous or cancerous lesions.
Dentists Who Accept Medicare
PERFECT TEETH is proud to treat patients of all ages, including seniors. We accept a variety of Medicare Dental Advantage Plans at most* of our dental practices including:
- Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield – select locations only
Locate a dental office near you that accepts Medicare, to confirm your plan is accepted.
Take advantage of your Medicare Dental Advantage Plan and request an appointment today!
* Medicare Advantage Dental Plans are not accepted at PERFECT TEETH – Arapahoe and PERFECT TEETH – Specialty Center