AARP’s "Prepare to Care: A Resource Guide for Families" can help make the job more manageable. Here’s how to receive a free copy.

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Re: Dental Care for Seniors

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There are new types of denture adhesives that do not contain zinc.
Thermoplastic Denture Adhesives called Comfort Lining Thermoplastic Denture Adhesive.
Thermoplastic denture adhesives heat up in a aluminium tube.

What you will need is a cup of water, microwave or tea kettle to heat up the water.
Then you place your aluminium tube in the hot water for five minutes for the thermoplastic denture adhesive to become pliable enough to adhere to your dentures.
This new adhesive is very similar to Cushion Grip thermoplastic denture adhesive.
Last up to a week with one application without changing.
This is great for not having to keep applying other adhesives every time you eat.
Comfort Lining comes packaged in a 1 oz tube that will last a few months.
Many uses!
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Re: Dental Care for Seniors

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Asking each person that posted something similar if anyone received any answers?
Would be most helpful to share.

Thanks!
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Re: Dental Care for Seniors

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Did you get an answer?
thanks!
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Re: Dental Care for Seniors

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 "because Medicaid does not pay for it" is the key here.

 

My questions are:  Why not?  And What's being done to correct this glaring omission?

 

Specifically - what is AARP doing to change the Status Quo?  Also - why isn't this a topic that appears in the AARP newsletters - the paper ones - on a regular basis?

 

 

I've had an interesting past. As for the future,
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Re: Dental Care for Seniors

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How did you find a Doctor that does dental work?
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Re: Dental Care for Seniors

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I have four implants. In many cases, when the dentist has to cut into the gum - for an extraction, bone graft, sinus lift, implant placement - this portion of the procedure is billed against your medical plan. The implant crowns will be billed against your dental insurance.  The total cost of two upper implants and crowns was about $11,500. Of this, I had to pay about $4500 out of pocket. Medical picked up about $5500 of the claim. Dental pciked up about $1000. One implant was excluded from coverage because the tooth was already missing - considered a pre-existing condition, and I maxed out my dental coverage. Not all insurance covers implants.

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I have always wondered why a health plan that is supposed to be primarly for elderly people-Medicare- does not cover the 3 things that elderly people often lose; hearing, vision and dental. In Arizona, Medicaid only covers emergent dental, that is basically the tooth is infected, pain medication and antibioitics have been tried and the tooth has to be pulled. 

 

 

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Please enlighten me on how you get an MD to do dental work?

Kathleen
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Re: Dental Care for Seniors

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You are so right.

 

I just paid off a bridge myself. And my partner needs an implant to replace the tooth that was anchoring her dentures. Ridiculous. We're all supposed to eat our dinner pureed???

 

One idea that is possible in some locations: find a dental school. All the work is supervised by dentists who are not only experienced but also good enough to be academics and know the latest and greatest techniques. The cost is much much less. Sometimes there are long waits. But if you don't have 7,000 smackers lying around, it can be the difference between chewing and slurping.

 

a thought anyway.

 

totally agree with all said here. Dental care should be covered for all.

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That is abundantly clear when you look at the teeth and gums of many Virginia nursing home residents, the vast majority of whom receive no dental care because Medicaid does not pay for it. As a result, many of these individuals develop infections and other conditions that must be treated in hospitals, at much greater expense to Virginia taxpayers.

 

This is not just a problem in the Old Dominion, which has 29,000 nursing home residents, 60% of whom are on Medicaid. Sarah J. Dirks, DDS, a dentist who treats nursing home residents in San Antonio, told the New York Times in 2013 that the lack of daily oral care in nursing facilities is "an epidemic that's almost universally overlooked."

There are three main reasons for this: lack of funding; insufficient awareness of the problem; and, ironically, the fact that losing teeth is not necessarily an inevitable result of age. Let me explain.

Think of older friends and family members you know who still have their own teeth. It's a national trend. The number of people who have lost most or all of their teeth (edentulism) has decreased steadily over the years. Without regular dental care as we age, however, the teeth and gums are increasingly vulnerable to disease. And the overall health consequences of poor oral care can be life-threatening.

There may be a solution that will help relieve pain and discomfort for nursing home residents while reducing hospital stays. A Virginia Dental Association (VDA) task force on this issue recently developed a pilot program that will place oral health coordinators in nursing homes -- provided grants can be secured.

These auxiliary dental workers will identify patients at risk and coordinate care with community providers before emergent treatment is needed. Prevention is the key. Our seniors deserve a chance to live their lives free of pain, dental disease, and other serious problems that can arise when oral health is neglected. Not insignificantly, we believe this project will also show policymakers that disease prevention is less costly than disease treatment.

“A Virginia Dental Association task force on this issue recently developed a pilot program that will place oral health coordinators in nursing homes -- provided grants can be secured.”

To gather the data to support this expenditure, the VDA, along with the Virginia Dental Hygienists' Association and the Virginia Health Care Association, which represents the state's nursing homes, conducted a pilot project recently in Richmond. On a single day in June, volunteer dentists and hygienists screened patients throughout the Envoy of Westover Hills nursing home. I was there, and it was heartbreaking to see seniors in need of extensive dental care.

We found loose teeth, poorly fitting dentures, cavities, and infected gums. These conditions make life so difficult and painful that some residents stop socializing and even eating, leading to malnourishment and the assorted debilitating health problems that ensue from that. The fact that some patients have dementia contributes to the challenge, because many resist oral care, clenching their mouths and trying to hit aides.

That is a problem that trained practitioners can manage if there is a will to help these aging citizens have as good a quality of life as possible in their final years. In addition to providing dental care to those in need, the pilot program could identify a way to also save taxpayer dollars through reduced Medicaid expenditures on hospital visits that can result from lack of regular dental care. Virginia now spends $4.1 billion per year, or about 20% of its general fund, on Medicaid, and that figure is growing at 8% a year. Saving money should be a priority for lawmakers across the state. We agree, and the way to reduce the cost on the back end is to invest in more prevention on the front.

To educate a man in mind, and not in morals, is to educate a menace to society.

~ Author : Theodore Roosevelt
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