Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures Most Likely Covered By Your Insurance

Dentist Articles

When you think of cosmetic dentistry, is your first thought that it's expensive and, therefore, not for you? If so, you aren't alone. But you aren't entirely correct, either. Cosmetic dental procedures are often included in insurance policies. Your company will probably cover the cost if it is billed as a necessary treatment, such as preventative or restorative.

Preventative Cosmetic Procedures

If your dentist can prove that a cosmetic procedure will prevent future – pricier – problems, your insurance will probably kick in to help cover it. Common preventative procedures include:

  • Braces: Braces are used to correct uneven teeth before they develop into a worse problem. For example, when eyeteeth have not erupted – or are emerging at the front of your gums instead of coming out even with your other teeth – cosmetic procedures are necessary. Braces are used to realign the tooth so it emerges in the right spot. If left until late adulthood to consider treatment, however, you might be looking at an oral surgery instead. Surgery would also include reconstructing the upper arch of your jaw to make room for the teeth, and if that failed, you would have to get implants or dentures in place of your original teeth.
  • Dental Sealants: Sealants are a protective coating available to both children and adults. They are used primarily on molars to "seal" out bacteria, but they can also be tinted to make teeth appear whiter. Sealants are covered by insurance when molars have deep grooves which make them more prone to decay. Dental sealants help prevent cavities, oral disease, and tooth loss.

Restorative Cosmetic Procedures

Restorative treatment is used in cases of oral disease – periodontitis – and oral cancer. Treatment for these problems also falls into the cosmetic dentistry category. When disease has caused oral problems, your dental insurance should cover treatment. Some restorative procedures include:

  • Sinus Lift: Disease can lead to loss of bone and tissue in the oral cavity. When this happens your arch could collapse, causing problems with airflow in your sinuses. To make room for a bone graft to repair the problem, your sinuses must be lifted away from your upper jaw. This also improves airflow in your sinuses.
  • Gum Graft: If your gums have receded due to periodontitis, you will need a gum graft to restore your oral health. While a graft can be done for cosmetic purposes alone – such as when you feel that too much teeth is showing and your want more pink in your smile – it isn't strictly cosmetic. Infected gums promote decayed teeth. To protect them, a gum graft is imperative.  
  • Dentures or Implants: Both periodontitis and cancer treatment can result in tooth loss. Dentures and implants are generally covered under dental insurance when this is the case. Dentures are a form of false teeth that are either fixed or removable. Implants are similar, but use synthetic roots to secure the teeth more permanently into your gums. However, implants require a lot of bone density, so if radiation therapy deteriorated your bones, you'll need jaw reconstruction before implants are a possibility. For this reason, getting help from the insurance company is more difficult than if you get dentures.

Cosmetic dentistry is often seen as an expensive luxury that only some people can afford. While this may be true for some procedures – porcelain veneers for example – it isn't always the case. Cosmetic dentists work with patients to prevent further problems, such as the need for surgery and other extensive dental treatments. Cosmetic dentists also work with patients who have suffered from oral diseases and cancers to restore their mouth. When these are the reasons for cosmetic dentistry, your insurance provider should help cover some of the treatment costs. Click here for more information about possible treatments.


2 December 2014

All About Full and Partial Dentures

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