Terry O’Brien, 73, a retired administrative assistant in Billerica, Mass., recently had to make a tough decision about her dental care.
“I always took care of my teeth,” she said. But even so, she was told she needed a crown — an artificial cap — at a cost of about $2,000.
Since she and her husband lack dental coverage, she opted for a less expensive filling. She worries, however, about how she will fund dental care long term. “I’ll make 100, I bet,” she said. “But I wonder how long my teeth will last.”
Older Americans face such situations often, because many people over age 65 lack dental insurance. Only about 10 percent of retirees have dental benefits from their former employer, according to Oral Health America, a nonprofit advocacy group.
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