How to Affordably Restore Your Smile As a Senior

fizkes / Shutterstock

No matter what your age is, It’s never too late to do things that will boost your confidence — that includes improving your smile. One survey reports that seven in 10 people feel self conscious about their teeth. Further, Dentistry Today reports that more than a quarter of people don’t even like smiling because of how their teeth look.

Everyone deserves to have a smile they’re proud of, including seniors. The good news is that can help you achieve that level of confidence. Teeth aligners and tooth implants are two options that may be a fit for you. Here’s an explainer on what’s involved with these procedures and ways to make these treatments more affordable.

Teeth Aligners

If you’ve always wanted to straighten but don’t want to deal with high maintenance braces, then teeth aligners are a great alternative. They can help straighten your teeth over time without having to endure harsh brackets or wires. Plus, teeth aligners can be taken on and off rather than being permanently attached to your teeth.

Teeth aligners are discreet, so most people won’t even notice that you’re wearing them. It’s perfect for seniors who have moderately crowded teeth or mild spacing issues. Depending on your teeth, you could have perfectly straight teeth in as little as 10 to 24 months.

JoseCalatayud / Shutterstock

Invisalign

One of the most recognizable brands when it comes to teeth aligners is Invisalign. The price is similar to traditional braces, with Healthline reporting that prices can range from $3,000 to $7,000. There are multiple ways you can save money on these invisible braces, such as through your insurance provider. Alternatively, you can also pay with pre-tax dollars through your flexible spending account or health savings account.

Some doctors may also allow you to pay off the cost of Invisalign through a payment plan. Rather than paying thousands of dollars up front, you could pay in smaller monthly instalments. This is ideal for seniors who don’t have extensive dental coverage.

Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock

Smile Direct Club

Save up to 60 percent on teeth aligners by choosing Smile Direct Club. The company has a one-time payment option of $1,950. Compared to other brands, this is quite affordable and offers you the biggest savings. You can choose from two types of teeth aligners:

  • Nighttime aligners worn for 10 continuous hours each night, or;
  • Aligners worn for 22 hours per day.

An alternative way to pay for Smile Direct Club aligners is through monthly payments. After paying a $250 deposit, you will make monthly payments of $89 or less for two months. This convenience will cost you a little extra long term, with a total payment of $2,386 for teeth aligners.

Proxima Studio / Shutterstock

Candid

Another company to consider if you want to save money on teeth aligners is Candid. Health.com says that you can save as much as 50 percent on average compared to the cost of Invisalign. In just four months to one year, you can have straighter teeth that make you feel confident.

What’s cool about Candid is that your progress is monitored remotely with teeth scans every two weeks. An orthodontist reviews the images to ensure your teeth are continuing to improve. To get started, you can visit a Candid office or get started online with a $19 Candid Starter Kit.

antoniodiaz / Shutterstock

Dental Implants

A second way that seniors can improve their smile is with dental implants. This surgery replaces missing or damaged teeth with artificial ones. The implants look and function just like real ones and are placed in the mouth with metal, screwlike posts. You can get just one dental implant or a bridge depending on the condition of your teeth. Unfortunately, dental implants are expensive.

Bankrate reports that a single implant starts at $3,000 while multiple replacements could end up costing tens of thousands of dollars. That’s why you will want to look into your existing insurance coverage to see if they can help pay. You can also look for services, such as TeethXpress, that allow you to make small monthly payments instead of paying thousands of dollars up front.

Maxx-Studio / Shutterstock

Medicare May Pay for Certain Dental Services

If you’re enrolled in Medicare, then you may be wondering if they can pay for dental implants. The reality is the healthcare provider only pays for certain dental services under Medicare Part A coverage. Under this plan, Medicare will help pay for inpatient hospital care if you have an emergency or complicated dental procedure.

Keep in mind that Medicare will never cover you for dental work such as:

  • Cleanings
  • Fillings
  • Tooth extractions
  • Dentures

RossHelen / Shutterstock

Medicare Advantage Offers More Coverage

While Original Medicare will not pay for cosmetic dental improvements, there’s a chance you could qualify for some coverage with a Medicare Advantage Plan. These plans provide extra coverage through Medicare-approved private companies. You can receive help paying for some vision, hearing, and dental services with a Medicare Advantage plan.

What’s great about Medicare Advantage is that you can customize your coverage to meet your needs. If you tailor a plan with dental as a priority, you could get help paying for certain dental procedures. It’s important to know that Medicare can deny coverage costs that aren’t medically necessary, but you have the right to appeal the decision.

hedgehog94 / Shutterstock

Learn More About Your Dental Options Online

If you’re dreaming of having a perfect smile, then you have options. Seniors can look into teeth aligners to help fix minor gaps or moderate teeth crowding for a straighter smile. Those with broken or imperfect teeth can also consider tooth implants and replace them completely.

You can avoid paying hefty fees for dental work by looking into your insurance options. For those without sufficient coverage, see if you can get on a payment plan that will help make it more affordable. Paying smaller amounts on a monthly basis is much more convenient than paying hundreds or thousands of dollars all at once.

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

Chelsea Dolan

Chelsea Dolan

Chelsea is an experienced writer with a passion for living a healthy life. She does her best at balancing her sugar addiction by going to the gym, parking far away from store entrances, and standing at her work desk from time to time.

X