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OLDER AMERICANS FIND IT HARDER TO GET DENTAL CARE.

The New York Times reports that older Americans find it particularly difficult to obtain adequate dental care as “fewer than half of Medicare beneficiaries have visited a dentist in the past year, a rate that sinks to 26 to 28 percent at lower income levels.” About 20 percent of Americans over age 65 have untreated cavities, the National Center for Health Statistics has reported, while “better hygiene and fluoridation means more older people have more teeth to preserve, over lengthened life spans, than in the past.” Difficulties arise when most Americans leave the work force and lose employer dental insurance, if they ever had it. The New York Times reports, “Medicare offers no help, and Medicaid, varying by state, generally pays skimpily for limited procedures.” The piece adds that preventative care lowers costs in the long run, according to researchers at the University of Maryland Dental School.

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