Dental coverage is hard to come by for the elderly - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Dental coverage is hard to come by for the elderly

Amarillo, TX - One of our most vulnerable populations is being affected by a lack of quality dental coverage.

Medicare, a program senior citizens rely on heavily, covers almost no dental care or dental services for the elderly right now, meaning they usually have to pay for dental work out of pocket.

Vivian's Nursing Home in Amarillo says they see denial of coverage for the elderly when it comes to dental work because many dentist do not take adult medicaid patients.

"One of the benefits that's most challenging to receive, if you can even get them for the elderly is dental care. That's almost an impossibility for the elderly to have a tooth pulled, have an abscess looked at that is something that is very very difficult to find a service for," said Linda Littlefield with the nursing home.

If someone doesn't get the necessary dental care they need, they can face further health complications, which Littlefield says can really impact a person who is already very frail.

The Comprehensive Dental Reform Act of 2012, introduced last week is aimed at helping cover millions of Americans who have no dental insurance.

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