Our bodies slow down, our vision begins to fade, and more notably, our teeth change as well. Almost suddenly, we find ourselves looking in the mirror realizing that we need to take care of a few things. Routine dental care is critical for keeping your health in good shape, especially as you age.
It’s not just discolouration that typically happens. Your bite may change, the shape of your teeth can change, and years of dental treatment can change the appearance of your smile over the years.
It’s not uncommon to discover new problems with your teeth. Regular dental visits can help keep your teeth strong and healthy. If problems are not dealt with, they may have a negative impact years later. The more you can do now, the more trouble you might be able to prevent in years to come.
Dental care can be costly, but it’s nothing compared to the costs of fixing damage that could have been prevented with good food, regular brushing and flossing, and dental checkups. Provincial insurance plans don’t typically cover dental visits, so many people end up going without. We always think we’ll get to that sometime soon.
When you’re a senior, the stakes are higher when it comes to your health. Purchasing a dental insurance plan can potentially save you thousands of dollars. If you lose teeth or develop gum disease, you’ll need that insurance to offset your costs.
Dental Options for Tooth Loss
It’s not a stereotype that older people often have dentures or bridges. It’s simply a reality. Both your teeth and gums degenerate over time. Your gums recede, and your teeth can loosen.
Dentures can replace one, several, or all the teeth in your mouth. The process is somewhat lengthy and comes in several phases. The entire process, from having molds made of your upper and lower jaws, right up to the fitting of your final dentures, is costly.
Bridges are even more expensive. Unlike dentures, bridges are not removable. You have a false tooth fastened to the existing teeth on either side. The cost of fitting, molding, and laboratory fees associated with bridges can be in the thousands.
But none of those are as costly as the “Cadillac of dentistry,” also known as dental implants. This is a process where a false tooth is attached to a kind of screw that fits into your gum, implanting the tooth. This is a three-phase procedure that can cost thousands of dollars. Be aware though, that most group and individual plans do not cover implants, so weigh your options carefully.
Losing teeth is an almost certain eventuality for many of us. The last thing anyone wants is to be saddled with enormous dental bills because they didn’t have a dental insurance plan.
Do You Need a Plan?
Retired seniors are often left without insurance because their former employers opted not to offer post-retirement insurance plans. It’s deemed too expensive to employers, so the retired individual must then look for a plan of their own.
But don’t worry. If you don’t qualify for a company-sponsored group plan, you have more options than you think. Health insurance is a competitive market and as a result, we can offer you some of the best plans available. With a great plan that is both affordable and robust, you will gain peace of mind knowing that if anything should happen, you’re covered.
Benefits of Dental Insurance
While it’s rare for any plan to pay the entire amount of your dental bill, you can find some that pay up to 80% for basic dental services and up to 50% for major services. You are responsible for covering the remaining balance, but the best way to make surethere are no surprise is to submit an estimate before getting any major services done.
As for your basic dental services, you should find a plan that covers you for regular dental checkups, cleanings, polishing, xrays, tooth extractions and fillings, if you should need them. Most plans allow for checkups every nine months and coverage for preventative periodontal care. For more information on basic dental services, visit the Canadian Dental Association’s FAQ.
Keeping on top of your regular checkups will reduce your risk of gum disease and tooth loss. Having an insurance plan that covers part of the cost will be a big help to you in the long run. Dental bills definitely add up, so insurance is a smart thing to have.
Choosing the Perfect Plan for You
If you have a spouse who needs coverage, there are family plans that include comprehensive dental care. If you have children who are under the age of 21, or are students, your plan may cover them as well. Family plans are affordable and great to have, especially when it comes time for those checkups.
If, however, you only require coverage for yourself, try to find a plan that will minimize your costs in the long run. Do you have issues with your teeth or gums? Do you think one day you might need more costly services like dentures? Think of the long term.
Shopping for insurance can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Our customer service agents can help you find the perfect plan for your needs with varying coverage levels and different costs associated with each.
Keeping your budget in mind, look at the overall costs and how you can fit it in with your finances. Our agents can help assess your coverage needs and recommend the best fit for you.
We can’t help aging. We can, however try to stop our teeth from departing our mouths too early! Sign up for an insurance plan so that you can enter your golden years with less worries. You’ll be smiling wide no matter what your age.