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  • Home Knowledge Center Dental Plans for Seniors

    Dental Plans for Seniors

    To keep your teeth healthy as long as possible, it’s important to have regular preventive dental exams and dental insurance coverage.

    What is the right dental insurance for seniors? What level of coverage should you look for when shopping for a dental plan?

    Why is dental insurance for seniors important?

    Good dental and oral health can affect the rest of your health. Your dentist may be able to find signs of more serious health issues when you get regular dental care.

    As you get older, certain health and lifestyle factors start adding up. Many of these can have a direct effect on your oral health.

    • Chronic health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease often require prescription medications. These types of health challenges can either affect or be affected by your oral health.
    • Certain kinds of prescription medications and over-the-counter medications and supplements can have side effects that affect your oral health. Some medications can give you dry mouth, which can lead to plaque and tartar build-up, along with gum disease.
    • Alcohol use can limit saliva production, leading to dry mouth and gum disease. Dry mouth can cause plaque build-up.1, 2
    • Tobacco use can have negative effects on your physical as well as oral health. Tobacco and vaping products can lead to issues like tartar build-up, gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer.3 Learn more about the impact of smoking on your teeth and gums.
    • Sugary foods and beverages can hurt your teeth. They can lead to tooth decay, tooth loss, plaque, and tartar build-up, and contribute to other health risks.

    Is dental insurance worth it for seniors?

    Dental issues can impact your overall health and become even more important as you age. Dental coverage can help lower the costs of regular dental exams and any other dental treatments you may need.

    What kinds of dental plans are available for seniors?

    Older adults have options beyond Medicare when it comes to dental insurance.

    Dental insurance for seniors on Medicare

    If you’re eligible for Medicare or already have a Medicare plan you may or may not have dental coverage.

    The following table shows the types of Medicare and dental coverage options.

    Type of Medicare plan Includes dental coverage? Your dental coverage options
    Original Medicare (Parts A and B) No Standalone dental plan

    Dental savings plan
    Medicare Advantage Sometimes. This often includes preventive dental care. But there are plans with comprehensive dental coverage, too. Buy additional coverage if needed—either a standalone dental plan or a dental savings plan
    Medicare Supplement No Standalone dental plan

    Dental savings plan

    Medicare Advantage plans are the only type of Medicare plan that may come with dental coverage. Be sure to look at the plan details closely before enrolling.

    Standalone dental plans

    If you’re not getting dental coverage with Medicare, or you’re only getting basic coverage with a Medicare Advantage plan, think about buying a separate standalone dental plan from a private insurer like Cigna Healthcare.

    You can find dental insurance for seniors like you that covers preventive care with a variety of plan options and affordable monthly premiums. Plans can also cover more expensive services such as bridges, root canals, and crowns.

    Dental savings plans

    Dental savings plans or discount dental plans allow you to get dental coverage with no waiting period. There are also other benefits included.

    How do they work?

    • These plans are not dental insurance. They are membership programs with an annual fee.
    • You can choose from different types of dental plans with different levels of coverage.
    • You can buy dental savings plans along with a traditional health care plan or Medicare plan. This can help if you need dental care quickly, a plan with no waiting period, or coverage for certain kinds of dental care your health plan doesn’t give you.

    Need dental coverage?

    Cigna Healthcare offers a variety of affordable dental plans, from basic plans that cover preventive care to plans that help cover major dental care.
    Explore our dental plans‡

    How much dental coverage do seniors need?

    You may have gotten away with routine dental exams and cleanings in your younger years. But older adults’ teeth may require more complex treatment.

    A dental plan that only covers you for preventive care will not help you pay for more expensive dental procedures and treatments if you need them. As we age our teeth age, too. Health issues, nutrition, prescription medication usage, and even your mental and emotional health, can impact your oral health.

    Expect to need any of the following dental procedures? Find out what levels of dental coverage you may need. In the dental plan documents, they may be called “classes” of coverage.

    Extractions and Fillings

    Fillings and teeth extractions may be covered as basic restorative care. Look for a percentage of coverage for procedures in this class of care. Once you meet your dental deductible, that percentage shows how much of the cost your plan will pay for these procedures.

    Root Canals, Periodontal Procedures, Denture/Bridge Repair

    Look for these specific procedures in the plan documents. They may be included under basic or major restorative care. That means you could have some percentage of costs covered once you meet your deductible.


    Dentures are often classified as major restorative care. Shop for a dental plan that offers a percentage of coverage. Once you meet your deductible, the percentage is the amount your plan will pay for dentures.

    Dental Implants

    In some plans, dental implants may be in their own class. If you expect to need dental implants, shop for a dental plan that specifically includes coverage for dental implants.

    Three things to consider when shopping for a dental plan for seniors

    Plan for dental care

    As you age, your oral health may require more than just basic preventive care. Will you need a root canal, bridge, or implants? Do you need dentures?

    Shop for dental plans that help cover these types of major restorative care, so you don’t have to pay the whole cost on your own. Standalone dental plans from a private insurer or a dental discount plan can cover more than just preventive care

    Look for major restorative coverage

    If you choose to shop for a standalone dental plan, look for coverage that includes “major restorative” benefits. This type of benefit usually covers more expensive treatments like dental implants, root canals, bridges, and crowns. These types of procedures can be expensive when you must pay out-of-pocket. Check the plan details before you buy.

    Check if there’s a waiting period

    Some traditional dental plans require a “waiting period” for certain types of dental care. If you need urgent dental care that's more complex than a routine check-up, then a dental plan with a waiting period may not be right for you.

    Good dental care is extremely important, especially as we age.

    As you age, your chances of having dental issues increase. Good dental care and habits can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Regular cleanings can help your dentist find other health issues as they come up. The right dental insurance for seniors can get you proper dental care and help pay for it.


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  • 1 Dry Mouth after Drinking Alcohol,, accessed July 12, 2021

    2 The Surprising Truth About Alcohol and Oral Health,, accessed July 12, 2021

    3 Smoking, Gum Disease, and Tooth Loss, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, February 2021,

    Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna Healthcare Medicare plans.

    This information is for educational purposes only and is not medical advice. Always consult with your dentist for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations.

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    The benefits of this policy will not duplicate any benefits paid by Medicare. The combined benefits of this policy and the benefits paid by Medicare may not exceed one-hundred percent (100%) of the Medicare Eligible Expenses incurred. This policy will not pay benefits for the following:

    (1) the Medicare Part B Deductible;

    (2) any expense which You are not legally obligated to pay; or services for which no charge is normally made in the absence of insurance;

    (3) any services that are not medically necessary as determined by Medicare;

    (4) any portion of any expense for which payment is made by Medicare or other government programs (except Medicaid); or for which payment would have been made by Medicare if You were enrolled in Parts A and B of Medicare;

    (5) any type of expense not a Medicare Eligible Expense except as provided previously in this policy;

    (6) any deductible, Coinsurance or Co-payment not covered by Medicare, unless such coverage is listed as a benefit in this policy; or

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    Y0036_24_1037312_M | Page last updated 03/28/2024