By Dr. Richard Wolfert, The Tooth Boss

Medicare and Medicaid offer very little in the way of dental coverage. So, if you or your spouse are not still working at a company that offers dental coverage you don’t have a lot of options other than paying out-of-pocket. The true irony is that when we age, we’re more prone to the conditions that necessitate a dental plan to mitigate cost.

Fortunately, more and more dental practices are offering their own dental plan as a way to provide dental coverage to seniors and others without dental coverage.

For a nominal fee, these plans will cover the basics. We offer one at my practice. It’s called the TBD Plan. The TBD stands for ToothBoss Discount. The TBD plan includes two simple cleanings, a fluoride treatment, an emergency visit and X-rays per calendar year.

These types of plans offer great value if your teeth are in good health. Unfortunately, as we age, we typically face bigger issues. That can include gum disease, loss of teeth and more. That’s why if you explore any dental plans, you want to make sure there’s some sort of coverage or discount on the more costly procedures.

For example, at my practice, the TBD Plan includes a 20 percent discount on most dental procedures. We also provide a 15 percent discount for the restoration of dental implants.

Many seniors have gum and other periodontal issues. If you’re looking into a self-funded dental plan, be sure to ask if there are any considerations for periodontal treatment. Our practice provides a special periodontal plan that provides more cleanings and emergency visits than most other plans offered at other dental practices.

As mentioned in my previous column, there’s a ton of evidence linking your oral health to your overall health. This becomes even more true as we age.

For example, recent evidence links excellent gum tissue health to a reduction in atherosclerosis. Artherosclerosis is the thickening of arteries through the accretion of calcium, cholesterol and other substances found in the bloodstream. This condition has been linked to fatal cardiovascular complications like coronary heart disease and peripheral arterial disease.

According to the CDC, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 700,000 people each year—one quarter of all recorded fatalities. On average, deaths and illnesses associated with coronary heart disease cost the U.S $219 billion annually.

As we age, we are more at risk for cardiovascular and other diseases. That’s puts even greater emphasis on maintaining every day care including brushing and flossing and, just as importantly, at the very least, biannual trips to the dentist. Dental plans like the TBD plan make it possible for seniors without a dental plan to continue regular appointments, while paying a reduced rate for basic and more advanced procedures.

If you are without a dental plan and would like to know more about dental plans like the TBD plan, you can visit or call 781-335-0604.

Dr. Richard Wolfert, DMD is the owner of The Toothboss, 1121 Main Street, South Weymouth, MA. For more information, call 781-335-0604 or visit