1. Every day 10,000 people in America turn 65.
  2. By 2050, there will be 88 million seniors in America. [i]
  3. Pensions are rare in today’s economy and the average worker doesn’t have enough opportunity to save for retirement.
  4. Nearly 20% of seniors approaching retirement have no retirement savings.
  5. Homelessness among seniors is projected to increase 100% by 2050.[ii]
  6. Sixty percent of Minnesota counties are considered Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas, including Ramsey County.[iii]

Seniors are at Risk

Poor Oral Health is Connected to Poor Overall Health

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Arthritis
  • Lung conditions
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes

The Numbers Don’t Add Up for Senior Oral Health


Social Security: $2,484 a month, according to the Social Security Administration’s estimate that the average annual benefit was $29,806 for Social Security recipients who are age 65.[iv]

Average monthly expenses for seniors: Midwest: $3,965[v]

Leaving a negative balance of: $1,481

More than 53% (532,000) of Minnesotans aged 65 and older do not have dental insurance or the ability to pay out of pocket for care. (2017).[vi]

Dental Services Costs

Dental Cleaning

Dental insurance may pay 100% of preventive dental care services like exams and cleanings. Average out of pocket prices are:

  • Basic cleaning and polish: $75–$200[vii]

  • Panoramic X-rays: $100–$200[viii]

Dental Filling

The price for filling a cavity can depend on the tooth filling material, the size of the cavity to be filled, and the location of the tooth.[ix]

  • Amalgam: $50–$150 for one to two teeth

  • Composite or ionomer: $90–$250 for one to two teeth
  • Gold: $250–$4500 for one to two teeth

Dental Crown

Like a filling, the cost of a crown is based on the material used.[x]

  • Metal: $500–$1,500 per tooth

  • Porcelain fused-to-metal (PFM): $600–$1,800 per tooth
  • Ceramic (porcelain): $800–$2,000 per tooth

Tooth Extraction

How much you pay for getting a tooth pulled can depend size of the tooth, location of the tooth, and difficulty of the procedure.[xi]

  • Simple tooth extraction: $75–$250
  • Surgical tooth extraction: $180–$550
  • Wisdom tooth extraction: $120–$800

Root Canal

Root canal prices can vary based on how severe the infection is and which tooth is affected.[xii]

  • Incisor: $500–$1,000
  • Molar: $800–$1,500


The cost of dentures depends on several factors. These include the quality of the materials, the need for tooth extractions, or the cost of follow-up appointments for fitting adjustments.[xiii]

  • Low-cost dentures: $600–$1,000 for a full set
  • Mid-priced, mid-quality dentures: $1,000–$3,000 for a full set
  • High-quality dentures: $4,000–$8,000 for a full set

Senior Smiles

Donate Here