Dental care is critical for everyone, no matter your age. Keeping your teeth healthy is important for many reasons, and it can become more difficult as you get older. With age, it can be harder to brush your teeth or floss effectively and medication use may become more prevalent and be harmful to your teeth.
In addition, your teeth often become less sensitive as you grow older, making it more difficult to detect dental problems. No matter the reason for reduced dental hygiene, a common fix for more severe dental problems is the use of dentures.
What are Dentures?
Dentures are removable devices that can serve as a replacement for teeth that have been removed for a variety of reasons, including surgery, tooth decay, gum disease, and others. These replacement teeth can be made up of just a few teeth in the mouth or include a full set.
Dentures can make a significant positive impact on daily life and quality of living. Because of their strong build and durability, dentures can make it much easier to eat food, improve speech ability, and help you attain the smile you are looking for.
Dentures come in three main types: conventional, immediate, and overdenture.
- Conventional dentures are molded and placed in the mouth up to several months following an accident or surgical procedure. These dentures contain a full set of teeth and are only used when all your original teeth have been lost or removed.
- Immediate dentures are placed in the mouth the same day as a tooth removal. The dentures are fitted and created on the same day, but another set of conventional dentures may be needed after your jaw has fully healed due to alignment issues.
- Overdentures are designed to utilize any teeth you have remaining in your mouth. Only the required teeth are provided with the dentures, and this design increases mouth and jawbone stability and uses the same concept as tooth implants.
No matter which type of dentures you need or use, it may be difficult to get used to them. The muscles in your mouth will need to hold them in place, which can take weeks of training and may result in soreness, irritation, or increased salivation. In addition, good oral hygiene is equally important with dentures to maintain your gum and overall mouth health.
Does Medicare Cover Dentures?
In most cases, Medicare insurance does not cover dentures. Medicare coverage is generally not provided for any dental care, procedures, or supplies. This includes teeth cleanings, dental plates, tooth extractions, cavity fillings, crowns, or other procedures.
Original Medicare insurance may cover dental expenses when the dental procedure occurs in an inpatient facility, such as a hospital, and it is deemed medically necessary after an injury. However, if this is not the case, most dental services will need to be paid for out of pocket.
One option to gain dental coverage is through a Medicare Advantage Part C plan. These insurance plans, offered by private insurance companies who contract with Medicare to provide your Part A and Part B benefits, can include additional benefits, such as dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage.
You may also consider an alternative dental insurance plan. These plans generally require a monthly premium to be paid, but they offer significantly lower out-of-pocket costs when it comes to routine dental procedures.