Smiling is good for the entire body. Not only does it relieve stress, lift your mood, and improve your immune system, but those around you also benefit from your smile as well!

However, many people are unhappy with their smiles and forgo, showing their pearly whites out of embarrassment. But with the help of cosmetic dental procedures, many dental problems can be fixed, and you can smile to your heart’s content.

But if you’re considering dental work to perk up your teeth, you might be surprised to find that insurance does not always cover the work you desire. Keep reading to discover more about cosmetic dental insurance – what it does and does not cover.

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is the practice in which a dentist fixes dental issues that are directly related to how your teeth look. Chattanooga Cosmetic dentists can be general dentists but do require continuing education to understand the art, techniques, and emerging technology associated with cosmetic dentistry.

While a general dentist concerns themselves with the health and function of your teeth, a cosmetic dentist purely focuses on the appearance of your teeth and ways to enhance that appearance. The specialty is exploding as more and more people seek ways to improve their smile.

Why Would You Want Cosmetic Dentistry?

The reasons why people would desire cosmetic dentistry are endless, but overall, they wish to correct or revamp their smile.

Here are a few procedures associated with cosmetic dentistry:

  • Dental veneers
  • Teeth whitening
  • Braces/Invisalign
  • Crowns
  • Bonding
  • Implants
  • Full-mouth reconstruction

Even though cosmetic dentists are general dentists, before you agree to anything, make sure your cosmetic dentist has the credentials and previous work and testimonies to show. Nowadays, many dentists without proper cosmetic education are capitalizing on patients, and the work they do is inadequate.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Cosmetic Work?

Generally speaking, most work done by a cosmetic dentist is not covered by insurance. But sometimes there are exceptions.

Restorative dentistry is the practice of restoring someone’s smile or mouth due to trauma, accident, or even disease and decay. The traumatic incident leaves the person’s mouth unable to function correctly, for example, eating and talking, and they may need surgeries or other procedures to fix the problems. In this case, insurance may allow a portion of a cosmetic procedure to be covered if it’s medically necessary.

This is the tricky part with cosmetic dentistry; coverage is often determined on a case-by-case basis and according to your policy. The lines blur between what is necessary for restoration and what is cosmetic. For the cosmetic procedure to be covered, its insurance company must recognize it as medically mandatory and not optional.

The amount the insurance company will cover is based on your policy and the work that needs to be done. Some dentists may require the specialized skills of a prosthetic dentist or orthodontics, and that may add to the cost.

If someone is looking for a way to improve their smile, whether by whitening or dental veneers, and has no medical needs, general dental insurance is unlikely to cover any amount.

What Does Cosmetic Dental Insurance Cover?

Each dental policy will vary on what services it covers when it comes to cosmetic dental work. The best way to find out what services are covered is to contact your insurance company. You’ll want to do this before committing to any procedures anyway.

The following procedures usually fall under the cosmetic dentistry umbrella:

Dental Veneers

Veneers are used to repair or restore teeth that are broken or injured. They are a thin covering that is bonded to the tooth and hides the part of the tooth that’s unsightly. Made from either porcelain or resin, they’re crafted to blend in with your surrounding teeth, so no one notices.

Teeth Whitening

Even though there are many teeth whitening products available on the market, some people still choose to visit the dentist to have whitening done. Dentists use a variety of tools and methods to whiten patients’ teeth, and the cost is often justified because the results are more long-lasting.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are permanent replacement teeth for teeth that are missing. This surgical procedure involves screwing an implant into your jaw and attaching a false tooth that looks like the lost one. Some people choose to get one replacement tooth, but getting multiples or even a mouthful is possible.

Braces And Other Orthodontic Work

Braces do the hard work or straightening crooked teeth. Traditional metal braces are still available, though Invisalign is a popular option. Before the dentist proceeds with braces, you may need additional work, such as pulling teeth or fixing overbites. These procedures can add to your cost.

What is A Dental Savings Plan?

Just because dental insurance will (likely) not cover any cosmetic work outside of a medical need, doesn’t mean there are ways to make them more affordable.

A dental savings plan comes in handy! A dental savings plan is a membership that allows you to save money dental expenses, such as cosmetic dentistry. You can also receive a certain percentage, sometimes up to 60% off, off your elected procedure, depending on the plan. To get a membership, you pay an annual fee, and they issue you a card you can use to activate your discount.

Cosmetic Dentistry: Is it For You?

Cosmetic dental insurance is tricky to understand, but the best course is always to contact your insurance to get the scoop on what’s covered. Cosmetic dental procedures are more affordable than you think, especially if you have a dental office that’s willing to talk about finances with you.

Are you looking for cosmetic dental work? Contact us today for help setting up your appointment!

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