The importance of dental care after 60

Good dental care is important throughout one’s life. Preventing dental issues such as cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss requires regular check-ups and hygiene practices at every age. But as you age, even more dental issues arise, and older adults who don’t continue regular dental checkups run the risk of conditions such as dry mouth (xerostomia), root and coronal caries, and periodontitis. It’s also important to be aware of normal aging processes that result in less bone density in the jawbone. As you age, your bones become less dense and less strong. When your jawbone loses density, you are more vulnerable to loose teeth and, in some cases, tooth loss. Bone loss can also cause your gums to recede, leaving your teeth more susceptible to decay. Finding a dentist who understands the challenges that older individuals face regarding their dental health and one who accepts your insurance can be a frustrating process. However, regular dental visits are essential to preserving your natural teeth and oral health.

How to find a dentist who accepts Medicare

Finding a dentist who accepts Medicare can feel like a daunting task. Yet, with the right knowledge and approach, it’s possible to find the dental care you need within the bounds of your Medicare coverage. In this blog post, we’ll go step-by-step through the actions and tips to help you navigate the Medicare maze. 

What type of Medicare do I have?

The first thing to consider is to understand what dental services Medicare covers. To answer that question, you will need to find out what type of Medicare coverage you have. Original Medicare (Parts A and B) typically don’t cover routine dental care, such as cleanings, fillings, or extractions. 

Supplemental Medicare plans can help cover some dental costs that Original Medicare doesn’t. There are two main ways to get supplemental dental coverage: 

Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) often include some level of dental benefits, such as cleanings, exams, and even coverage for dentures or crowns. Medicare Part C, known as Medicare Advantage Plans (like HMOs or PPOs), provides Part A and Part B coverage and often offers additional benefits. Private insurance companies approved by Medicare run these plans. You choose the Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without prescription drug coverage) and pay a monthly premium. 

Standalone Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans may offer optional dental coverage as an add-on benefit. The specific coverage and costs will vary depending on the plan you choose.

Regardless of your coverage, it’s important to review your specific plan’s details to determine what dental services are included and any applicable limitations or restrictions. If you are unsure of what type of Medicare you have, start by looking at your red, white, and blue Medicare card. On the lower left corner of your card, you will either have “Hospital (Part A)” or “Medical(Part B)” listed. 

If you are still unsure what type of Medicare you have, call your local PA MEDI program or use the toll-free PA MEDI Helpline at 1-800-783-76067 Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm. 

How can I search for dentists in network?

One of the most valuable resources in your search for a dentist who accepts Medicare is the Medicare Provider Directory. This is an online tool that allows you to search for healthcare providers, including dentists, who accept Medicare. By entering your location and selecting the type of provider you need (such as a dentist) you can generate a list of providers in your area that are enrolled with Medicare. This directory doesn’t guarantee every dentist listed will accept Medicare, but it is an excellent starting point. 

Once you have this list, you can contact the dental offices directly to make sure they accept Medicare. Be sure to mention the specific type of Medicare coverage you have (Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage) and ask about any other information they may need to process your insurance. 

Looking for a dentist who takes Medicare in York, PA?

White Rose Family Dental understands that navigating dental coverage, especially with Medicare, can be confusing. While Original Medicare (Parts A and B) typically doesn’t cover routine dental services, some of our patients with Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) may have dental benefits included. We are happy to work directly with your insurance provider to verify your coverage and maximize your benefits. For patients without dental coverage, we accept a variety of insurance plans, including:

  • Aetna
  • Capital Blue Cross
  • Highmark
  • Delta Dental
  • Signa
  • United Concordia
  • United Healthcare. 

If dental care is not covered in your plan, we can discuss flexible payment options to help make your dental care affordable. To learn more about what dental options are available to you, call us today at (717) 822-0272 or click here to schedule your appointment.

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