Thursday, February 16, 2017

Unaffordable Dental Expenses for the Elderly - An Editorial

With our volatile economy, things are bad enough, but it is so much worse for those on limited and fixed incomes, and the real travesty is that there is very little help available for those in need of serious dental care. Medical care can be much easier to obtain.
Dental treatment is fast becoming one of the most costly of all areas in the medical industry. Basic restorative treatment is becoming a thing of the past, with dentists and dental specialists opting for the higher end products and procedures. Root canals, crowns and implants are exorbitantly high priced, as are dentures and prosthetic devices. Having worked in the dental industry as long as I have, I'm well aware of the cost of materials vs. the mark-up.  It's ridiculous, and there is no regulatory agency that can help to even out the cost to make it more affordable. In fact, dental specialists are among the highest priced professionals in the country.  The elderly are probably the most affected by this. They are literally forced to spend money they don't have and are finding that there are limited resources to help with the funding of  treatments and procedures, as government based organizations generally will not cover anything other than extractions for adults.
A good Dental Plan can go a long way toward reducing costs for the elderly, but the fact is, sometimes it just isn't enough. Consequently, many elderly dental patients will go outside of the country to places such as Mexico, or will simply go without the care they need, thereby affecting their overall health. 
No doubt we all know of an elderly family member or friend that has had this problem.

So, the question? How long can this continue?  When insurance is of little or no help and money is limited, there must be an alternative somewhere.  Any ideas anyone? 

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