General Question

MooCows's avatar

How do senior citizens on fixed incomes afford dental services?

Asked by MooCows (3185points) May 26th, 2018

Dental insurance for seniors still is not cheap enough and as you get to that age your teeth need more bridges and crowns and you name it because of the age of their teeth. How do they afford it?
I am 60 and need some dental work and cannot afford it and am thankful that I am not in any pain but crowns are so expensive and dental insurance sure doesn’t cover much of the “big stuff”. This getting old is getting expensive and many are on set incomes.

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9 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Dental schools sometimes have free discounted dental work with the students. So that the students can practice with a real person. It might even be free. Go ask.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Most seniors don’t have dental insurance in the US.

The best you can do is find a dentist who will take installment payments. Usually that includes high interest rates.

We are not a first world country,

Tropical_Willie's avatar

My dental insurance, as a senior, costs about what twice a year cleanings cost. So anything else is a no additional charge.

johnpowell's avatar

Yeah.. Local clinic that only does extractions for 20 bucks a tooth. My mom looks like a jack-o-lantern. They only pull the pain away. Nothing cosmetic will be done.

LadyMarissa's avatar

When I had to have extensive or dare I say expensive dental work done, my dentist signed me up with Care Credit. I think thet are part of Synchrony family. Anyway, for the work I had done, I had to pay off the balance within 5 years for it to be considered “same as cash”. IF it’s not paid off on time, they go back & add the interest once not paid off. I had it paid off in 2.5 years; so, NO interest. It was good for me; but wouldn’t be good for anybody who couldn’t afford the double payments. I don’t know IF all dentists offer Care Credit; but Aspen Dental does & I got good care from them!!!

anniereborn's avatar

Depending on income, some people can go on Medicaid. Depending on the state, Medicaid will pay for certain procedures. In Illinois at this time it will pay for extractions, filings, caps and root canals (if they are in the front teeth.)
Not too many years ago tho, all it was covering was extractions.

johnpowell's avatar

@LadyMarissa :: I woke up 4/28/17 at 4am with massive pain. I called/texted/emailed my mom. The pain was so bad I vodkaed it away. Around 8AM my mom got me into Aspen. To get a single tooth pulled it was $400.

The billing shit took 10Xs as long as the actual extraction.

Found a email…

JLeslie's avatar

It’s a nightmare. Dental procedures can be so expensive. Dental schools will do work for free, but in my experience the process gets terribly dragged out.

There is dental insurance. It’s questionable whether it’s worth paying for or not.

rojo's avatar

From my experience, they don’t. If they do not have some excellent medical insurance through a government health plan or a bunch of cash laying around then they usually just let the dental part of their life go. Brush and floss and hope that nothing bad happens. It seems like once you retire and are no longer making any kind of contribution to society then your needs no longer matter.

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