I am nearly 72 years old or young and I have lost only two of my teeth. The most recent extraction was to avoid the cost of a root canal and subsequent crown. My dentist charges $1500.00 for a crown after a discount for cash, since I lack all insurance. I decided to be more proactive rather than wait for more problems. Yesterday I left the dentist’s office with a $122.00 bill for x-rays and a treatment plan of about $2500.00 to think about. My dentist emphasizes quality of life for the retention of as many of one’s teeth as possible. I am not in that situation yet where it is a choice between quality of life (retention of teeth) and affording food, but I believe that it is choice faced by many elderly retired living on a fixed income. After all, what is the point of good teeth if you cannot afford food to chew, or what good is food without teeth to chew it?
I have neglected seeing a dentist regularly so I was shocked at how expensive dentistry has become. To maintain the quality of life of our retired seniors, I believe that it is mandatory to expand Medicare to include dental charges, eye-care and hearing services for the hearing impaired. My hearing is impaired and it limits my ability to interact with others. It is my understanding that the best hearing aids are made in Denmark and cost many thousands of dollars, a sum I cannot afford.