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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults


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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults

Once my children were grown and on their own, I decided it was time to care of me. One of the first things I did was make an appointment with the dentist. I quickly discovered that years of not keeping up with my own dental care had taken a heavy toll on my teeth. Whereas I thought my teeth were just fine, the dentist pointed out several problems that were going to require a lot of work. When talking to friends, I found out that many of them were in the same boat. This blog is for people like me who just did not have time to keep up with their own dental care.

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Planning Ahead For The Cost Of Dental Implants

Dental implants can be an effective means of addressing missing or damaged teeth, but it's a procedure that is generally quite costly. Before making any decisions, it's important that you determine just how you'll pay for your procedure, and that starts with understanding all the associated costs. Even once you know the costs, it's important to know what options you have for reducing the price you pay, and that will involve consulting with both your insurance company and the dental professional you choose.

What's in Your Quote?

Not every dentist who offers dental implants will perform every step in the procedure, so make sure you get a clear explanation of what is included in any price quote you receive. This quote can be altered based on the need for surgical tooth extractions versus simple extractions, requiring an oral surgeon if one is not already performing the procedure. Pre-implant surgeries may also be required, such as augmenting bone structure or other steps required to ensure your implants are securely seated.

Implants themselves are costly, though different compositions and brand names can alter the price. A typical implant procedure may require a single implant post for a single tooth, or as many as eight for some full arch procedures. Finally, your prosthesis will carry its own cost, based on the materials used to make it and the number of teeth included in the final appliance.

Saving Money Without Sacrificing Quality

While not all dental insurance plans will cover dental implants, it's worth talking to your carrier directly. Even if your plan won't cover the full cost, they've still reached an agreement with in-network dentists regarding allowable charges. This means that any dentist who accepts your insurance has agreed to charge a reduced rate for a variety of materials, services and procedures, all of which can result in a significant reduction in cost.

Use One Professional

Finally, look for a way of having the entire procedure performed by a single professional. Oral surgeons, prosthodontists, periodontal specialists and some cosmetic dentists can take care of each step without requiring a referral to another dental practice. In most cases, the fewer dentists are involved the lower the cost of the procedure will be.

Once you've got your mind set on using dental implants to replace your teeth, take it slow to reduce the overall financial burden you have to deal with all at once. Most importantly, make sure you're in a position to properly recuperate from any surgical procedure without having to return to work too soon. The reduced stress will help you recover faster, and you'll feel more comfortable once you do finally return to work with your new teeth.

To learn more, contact a dental clinic like John S. Lyon DDS