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One of the first questions that many people ask their dentist whilst considering cosmetic dentistry procedures is whether cosmetic dentistry is covered by dental insurance. After all, why pay full cost for dentistry procedures if you can get them for much less? Whilst the answer to "do insurance companies cover cosmetic dentistry?" can't be answered with a simple "yes" or "no," you can learn what you need to know below.
The Type of Cosmetic Dentistry Procedure May Make a Difference
In general, elective dentistry procedures are not covered by most dental insurance providers. Whilst the majority of cosmetic dentistry treatments and procedures are deemed non-essential (and therefore elective,) there are certain cosmetic dentistry procedures that could be covered.
The following types of cosmetic dentistry procedures are sometimes covered by dental insurance providers.
What all of the procedures above have in common is that they are sometimes used to add strength, repair damage, or correct serious problems in the mouth. For example, if you have a severely cracked tooth that is at risk for major infection, this could put you at risk for other serious health problems if untreated. Your dentist might recommend that the tooth is capped with a dental crown to prevent it from being damaged -- and causing damage to the rest of your mouth and body.
In a situation like that, covering the tooth with a crown has cosmetic benefits, as it conceals the unsightly damage to the tooth. However, the crown also has clearly defined medical benefits, and this is something that might convince your dental insurance provider to pay for the treatment.
There are many other situations in which a cosmetic dentistry procedure might have both aesthetic and medical benefits, with braces being a leading example. Your dentist can help you determine whether your cosmetic dentistry procedure is likely to qualify as a medically necessary one.
The Procedures That Aren't Covered
There are some cosmetic dentistry procedures that aren't typically covered by dental insurance, no matter how much you might wish they could be. These procedures usually include anything that has a purely cosmetic benefit, such as teeth whitening. However, if you think about it, many cosmetic dentistry procedures do have the dual benefit of improving oral health whilst enhancing the appearances.
Ready to beautify your smile, but want to talk insurance with your dentist first? Call your cosmetic dentist today to discuss both dental insurance and other financing options for the dental work you want.