How Can Dental Membership Plans Benefit the Elderly

 When senior citizens retire, they lose their health insurance, including dental coverage, leaving them with many challenges affecting their oral health and overall well-being. 

But here's the good news: the lack of dental insurance shouldn't stop them from getting the necessary dental care. 

Dental discount plans, such as dental memberships, can give them a helping hand. Discover how these options can make a real difference for you and your loved ones.

senior citizen consulting in culver city dentist

Facts about senior oral health

"Currently, about half of seniors don't have dental coverage, and half of seniors don't use any dental services during the year," said Thomas Rice, a health policy and management professor at UCLA, during CBS MoneyWatch. "

The statement implies a significant need for dental coverage and utilization of dental services among senior citizens. 

This also suggests that a substantial portion of the senior population needs to be financially protected against the costs associated with dental care.

While some have dental insurance or dental plans, around 50% still do not use dental services throughout the year. Senior citizens are not accessing necessary dental care, whether for routine check-ups, preventive measures, or treatment of dental issues.

These findings highlight a concerning situation that can have negative implications. There can be several reasons why about half of seniors don't have dental coverage and why the same proportion doesn't use dental services during the year:

Financial constraints 

Let’s face it. Dental care can be expensive. With many seniors relying on fixed incomes, retirement savings, pensions, or Social Security, paying for dental insurance can be a heavy lifting. 

They may not have the financial means to afford dental insurance or pay for dental services out of pocket.

Lack of insurance options

Dental coverage is not always included in standard Medicare plans. According to a study on oral health and aging, 55 million Medicare beneficiaries don’t have routine dental care coverage. While some Medicare Advantage plans may offer dental coverage, not all seniors may be aware of these options or unable to afford them.

Limited access to dental care

Some seniors may live in areas with a shortage of dental care providers, particularly in rural or underserved areas. Limited access can deter them from seeking dental services.


Some seniors may not be aware of the importance of regular dental check-ups and preventive care for maintaining oral health, or they may underestimate the significance of dental care.

Transportation issues

Seniors who no longer drive or have limited mobility may face challenges getting to dental appointments, especially if no convenient transportation options are available.

Prioritization of other health issues

Seniors may have multiple health concerns and prioritize other medical issues over dental care, thinking oral health is less critical than other conditions.

Insurance complexity

Understanding insurance options and navigating the complex world of healthcare coverage can be challenging, especially for older individuals who may not be as familiar with modern insurance practices.

Addressing these issues may involve policy changes, public awareness campaigns, and education on the importance of oral health for seniors. 

The real solution, though, is challenging the concept that oral health care is optional rather than an integral part of health care. And everything starts by providing seniors who live on fixed and unfixed incomes with improved access to affordable dental care.

Here’s where a dental discount plan or a personal membership can become a lifesaver.

What’s a dental membership plan?

Dental membership plans and personal memberships are frequently used interchangeably, but both programs offer cost-effective solutions with minimal to no administrative paperwork.

Put it this way. You sign up for a membership program with your local dentist and pay for a dental plan with pre-negotiated, “discounted costs” on specific treatments. 

You can make a single upfront payment for the plan upon purchase or divide the annual fee into monthly installments. Afterward, you cover the costs of the dental services you receive at reduced rates during the year directly from your funds.

When treatment is required, you go directly to your dental clinic, where you signed up, instead of calling your insurance provider for approval. There are no copays or premiums and no yearly caps.

What difference does a dental discount plan make?

A dental discount plan isn’t dental insurance. And it shouldn’t be mistaken as such. However, dental discounts give patients much flexibility or various options regarding their dental care. This flexibility can specifically benefit seniors, given the hurdles they encounter.

For example, older people can select someone from a vast network of participating dentists who suits their preferences and needs, such as location, specialization, or personal rapport.

Another thing, dental discount plans often offer immediate coverage, meaning seniors can start using the benefits as soon as they enroll. There are usually no waiting periods for specific treatments, making it convenient for seniors with immediate dental needs.

Dental discount plans also typically eliminate the complex claims process associated with traditional insurance. Seniors do not need to submit claims or wait for reimbursements; they pay the reduced fees directly to the dentist. 

When you talk about costs, it can make a ton of difference, especially for the elderly who don’t have other sources of income.

Let’s talk about how these discounts work.

How much discounts can patients get?

Being able to pay a smaller upfront fee or breaking down the annual cost into monthly bites is a real financial win for seniors.

But imagine getting discounts on preventive care and other treatments, such as periodontal maintenance, fillings, extractions, implants, and more.

Some may think of discounts as being “oversold,” but when it comes to dental care, it can be a major game-changer. 

To clarify, let's examine the cost of specific dental treatments in Culver City, California, and how dental discounts can significantly reduce patient expenses. 

In this instance, we will base our data on Delta Dental’s Cost estimator and United Dental Care’s personal membership plan:

Dental Treatment

Typical Cost of Treatment in Culver City (Based on Delta Dental’s Cost Estimator)

Personal Membership Discounts in United Dental Care

Periodontal Maintenance

$300 - $410


Composite Fillings

$303 - $400


Non-surgical extractions

$250 - $400


Implant - Single Tooth Replacement

$4,495 - $6,500


Dental Crown

$1,595 - $2,300


Root Canal

$1,453 - $2,195



As a member of our dental plan, you or your loved ones get a 50% discount on periodontal maintenance, so you only pay $150 for each session instead of the full $300. You'll have this treatment four times yearly, or $600 for the entire year.

When you combine the membership fee of $567 with the discounted cost of periodontal maintenance, which is $600, the total cost for the first year with the dental plan is $1,167.

To calculate your savings with the dental membership, you can subtract the cost of having the plan from the price without it:

Savings = Cost without the program - Cost with the plan Savings = $1,200 (Cost without the plan) - $1,167 (Cost with the plan)

Your savings with our dental membership for one year would be $33. This means you'll save $33 on your periodontal maintenance alone, not to mention any other treatments where you'll enjoy similar discounts throughout the year.


CTA personal membership page


Final thoughts

There’s no denying the fact that dental discount plans or personal memberships can offer significant benefits to senior citizens who may not have dental coverage.

But is it really worth your money and your loved ones’ time? Our answer is yes. 

The main idea here is that treatment for seniors in a membership plan or dental discount program is straightforward and focused on prevention. It often aims to prevent oral diseases from worsening and restore the ability to chew by replacing missing teeth with dentures or dental implants.

To fully grasp the significance of this, we must acknowledge how having healthy teeth directly impacts the entire body.

The role of teeth extends beyond aesthetics; they are fundamental to our nutrition and digestion. Healthy teeth enable efficient chewing, which is the cornerstone of proper digestion.

Seniors able to chew well can ensure that their bodies receive essential nutrients from their food, contributing substantially to their overall health and vitality.

Moreover, the appearance of one's teeth significantly influences self-confidence. A radiant smile boosts self-esteem and fosters a positive self-image.

It's not just about looking good; it's about feeling good too. This boost in self-confidence can profoundly affect a senior's mental and emotional well-being, leading to a happier and more fulfilling life.

Furthermore, our dental health plays a pivotal role in our social interactions. A captivating smile not only exudes confidence but also invites positive social engagement.

Seniors with healthy teeth are likely to actively participate in social activities, foster connections, and maintain a vibrant social life. This social interaction, in turn, contributes to mental and emotional health, reducing feelings of isolation and enhancing overall quality of life.

Finally, without the complications and frills of dental coverage, your older family members can easily make the most of their dental care by focusing on what they truly need. Not only does it help them save time and money, but it also allows them get to live a normal life.

Dental memberships in Culver City, California

Join our satisfied members and save at least $514 annually on crucial preventive care treatments. With United Dental Care's personal membership plan, you receive exceptional value for your investment and ensure comprehensive protection for your oral health.

What to know more? Reach us now!

Become a member

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