Dental implants have become a popular treatment option for senior citizens who are missing one or more teeth. Unlike dentures or bridges, which can be unstable and uncomfortable, dental implants are permanently anchored in the jawbone and provide a strong, sturdy foundation for artificial teeth.
In addition, dental implants can help to preserve bone density in the jaw, which can often decline following tooth loss. As we age, our risk of developing gum disease also increases, making it even more important to maintain a healthy and intact smile.
For senior citizens who are missing teeth, dental implants provide both a functional and aesthetic solution that can help to improve their overall quality of life.
Millions of Americans have no dental insurance, however, but your teeth don’t know that. Even if you don’t have a dental plan and are on a budget, you may still need dental implants.
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, more than three million Americans have dental implants, and the number is growing every year. However, for senior citizens, the cost of dental implants can be a major obstacle to obtaining treatment. The average cost of an implant is between $3,000 to $5,000, and the procedure is not typically covered by insurance. As a result, many seniors are forced to choose between expensive out-of-pocket dental care or living with missing teeth.
The cost of dental implants can be prohibitive, especially for seniors on a fixed income. That's where dental help for low-income seniors come in. These dental grants are available from a variety of sources, including government agencies and private foundations.
These grants can help cover the cost of dental implants, making them more affordable for seniors. In addition, dental grants can also help pay for other necessary dental procedures, such as teeth cleanings and x-rays. As a result, dental grants are an important resource for seniors who need dental care but cannot afford the high cost of traditional dental procedures.
This Senior Assistance Guide will provide you sources of low-cost dental implants for seniors as well as where to find dental help for low-income seniors.
You may want to look into getting a dental discount plan. Unlike dental insurance, you don’t have to pay an annual insurance premium. Instead, you get discounts on dental services with no yearly limit. This can be especially appealing if you don’t want the added yearly expense of a premium.
Many communities offer seniors options for free or low-cost dental care. Others provide sliding scale clinics. Talk to colleagues and friends who may already have personal experience and recommendations. Check online to find out what’s available in your community and county.
In addition to government-funded clinics, look for charities offering dental care. Some may be faith-based or location-based. Others offer mobile dental clinics. For example, in San Francisco, Marin, and Sonoma County, Jewish Family and Children’s Services offers dental services.
Many dentists volunteer across the United States to provide dental services for seniors. Some of the facilities are local, others are offered through Donated Dental Services.
You can often find affordable dental care and low-cost dental implants for seniors at free or lower prices at dental schools. Dental students provide care, under the supervision of a certified professional. Check the universities and community colleges in your area.
Two big categories to think about are clinical trials and charitable organizations.
Visit ClinicalTrials.gov and look for “dental implants.” Check out the options for joining a clinical trial.
Search for organizations that may be able to help you low-cost dental implants. Among the top charities to start with are:
Dental tourism is a potential way to get dental implants for a bargain price. Close to the U.S, Costa Rica is most preferred for low-cost, high-quality dental care. European countries such as Hungary and Poland offer some of the most affordable dental care. Experts advise checking to be certain care is at the standard you expect.
Due to attractive exchange rates, you may be able to find quality care at lower prices.
One form of dental tourism is to go with or organize a group. Not everyone in the group needs to get implants—just some form of dental care. Check with your friends, family, and neighbors to see if you find interest. If not, extend your search to social media contacts.
Many seniors turn to Go Fund Me to ask for help with needed funds. If this is something you haven’t considered, check out the ways to do this.
There are a number of charitable organizations that provide free or low-cost dental care to seniors in need.
Mission of Mercy is one such organization; they provide free dental care to underserved populations across the country. Dentistry from The Heart is another organization that provides free dental care to seniors; they host events in communities across the country where volunteer dentists provide basic dental services to those in need. Smiles Change Lives is yet another organization that provides free or low-cost dental care to seniors, including dental help for homeless seniors; they partner with dentists and orthodontists across the country who donate their time and services to help those in need.
Aspen Dental has over 800 locations across 38 states in the USA. They offer a variety of financing options to make dental implants more affordable for seniors, including CareCredit, which offers no interest financing for up to 60 months. They also offer a 5% discount on implant procedures for seniors who have dental insurance.
If you have Medicaid, you may be eligible for free or low-cost dental implants. Medicaid covers many different dental procedures, including implants, so be sure to check with your state’s Medicaid office to see what your coverage entails.
Take a look at these ways to lower the price of dental implants. Perhaps one or more will help you get the dental care you need.
New dentists are always looking for new clients. If you feel confident with their abilities, they may be able to offer you a lower price than other established dentists.
Some dentists have poor marketing and out-of-date websites. This may mean they just aren’t tech-savvy. Check in person and see if they’d like to have your business, for a lower price.
Although we’re in the United States, it pays to bargain. Negotiate with your dentist for a lower price. This may include a lower total price, a partial barter for services, or pay your dentist directly with a monthly installment plan. Negotiate your way to dental implants, at a price that works for you.
Some dentists offer specific services at lower rates. For example, x-rays, cleanings, or extractions. You may find your total bill is lower if you spread your dental care across several professionals. Alternatively, bargain for giving all your services to the dentist you’d like to work with.
Many dentists hate the fees that come with credit card payments. If you offer to pay cash, you’ll help them save money and avoid the hassle. Think ahead and ask for discounts when paying with cash.
Even better than cash can be a new business. If you know a lot of people who need dental work—whether implants or something else—use this as your bargaining tool. Offer to refer your friends and family for a specific cut on your bill.
Combine as many of these tips into your own. And, please, feel free to add your own cost-saving tips as well!
The #1 Idea: There are options for seniors when it comes to getting low-cost dental implants.
Don’t give up on your dental care. Getting the care you need is part of living a happy healthy life.