In a perfect world, your teeth would last forever. Unfortunately, your risk for losing teeth increases with age. If you have missing teeth or need an extraction, then you are not alone. Approximately one out of four seniors between the ages of 65 and 74 are missing all of their teeth. Seniors who are missing their teeth benefit from using dental implants to fill in the gaps. Unlike dentures, implants stimulate the jawbone. This can help to preserve your facial structure and any remaining teeth in your mouth.
Getting dental implants involves several steps. Your dentist will first want to assess your oral health to make sure that you are a good candidate for the implant procedure. They will check to make sure that your gums are healthy and that there is enough bone in your jaw to support the titanium posts. If you don’t have enough bone in your jaw to support implants, then you might be eligible for a grafting procedure to build it up before your implant surgery. Once the implant posts are placed, your dentist can add crowns, bridges or dentures to the top to create a functional and beautiful smile. In most cases, dental insurance only covers a small percentage of the cost for implants. You can make getting implants more affordable by searching for ways to save money on dental implants for seniors.
Reach Out to a Dental Society
A dental society is simply a professional organization for dentists, and you can find one in every state. Dentists join dental societies to network and stay on top of the latest advances in their field. You can reach out to a dental society to find out which clinics in your area are known for offering lower cost services. You might even be able to find a program that is designed specifically for seniors with dental care needs who live on a fixed income.
Many dental society websites provide a wealth of information about local dentists such as their address, general fees and payment options. You might also be able to find out if the clinic is accepting new patients and open for making an appointment. Keep in mind that some low cost dental clinics require patients to live within a certain zip code and meet income guidelines. This means that you may need to furnish proof of residency along with your income. If you find a clinic that looks good, make sure to call to make sure that they offer dental implants before you make the appointment.
Check Out a New Dental Practice
At this point, you may prefer to avoid having to visit a new dentist, but this might be a good option for getting dental implants at a lower price. The cost for implants can vary significantly among dentists, and you can benefit from shopping around. If you do choose to change locations, then don’t worry about it being a major change. Dentists are used to accepting new patients, especially when it comes to major procedures such as implants.
You can find a new dental practice by asking your family and friends for referrals. If you have dental insurance, then they may also offer a list of approved providers that can help you to lower the cost for your implants. If you choose to try a practice in a different city, then keep in mind that the implant procedure often involves several appointments. You’ll want to make sure that it is close enough for you to drive to or that you have the funds available for transportation if it is further away.
Find Out If Group Discounts are an Option
Some dentists offer group discounts for people who are able to find others who are willing to sign up for the procedure at the same time. Ask around to see if you know anyone else who also needs to replace missing teeth. You will also want to check with dental clinics to find out their specifications for receiving a group discount such as having a certain amount of people sign up. The discount can also vary according to different practices. You can shop around to find the best possible discount before having your group set up their appointments.
Sign Up for a Discount Dental Plan
Discount dental plans are an option that typically cost about one-third of what you would spend on insurance each month. These plans work similarly to the way that big box stores offer memberships to shoppers. In exchange for paying a regular low monthly fee, you’ll be treated to discounts on dental services that arise over time. These discounts can be as high as 60 percent of the price depending upon the procedure.
A discount plan is available to seniors of every age, and the best part is that they don’t discriminate against people who already have major dental care needs. You will want to make sure that the dental clinic you prefer works with a specific discount dental plan. You can also ask your regular dentist which discount dental plan they accept before you get your implants. While you may still need to pay the full amount of your implants when you start your procedure, your dentist might are wiling to work out a payment plan to help you get the most from your discount. Just make sure to let your dentist know that you are a member of a discount dental plan and bring your card with you to show proof at your appointment.
Visit a Dental School
Dental schools often offer implant services that are as much as 50 percent lower than what you get from a fully licensed dentist. This is because students need experience to complete their dental training. The students who provide low cost treatment services are typically already in their final stages of finishing their education, and they are closely supervised by their educators. Since dental schools often have the latest technology and techniques, you can often come out ahead without spending a ton of money on implants.
As you search for a dental implant provider, remember to research each option thoroughly. You can even request information about the dentist’s credentials to make sure that you receive the best care possible. After you find the right practice, be sure to have your dental records sent over for a seamless transition to a new dentist.