Your smile is one of the first things that people notice about you—which is why many people these days are opting for cosmetic dental work. In fact, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the demand for cosmetic treatment has actually doubled within the last five years. However, despite the widespread popularity of cosmetic dentistry, in many cases, it’s not always fully covered by dental insurance. Keep reading to learn more about what insurance will and won’t cover in regard to cosmetic dental work.
What’s Usually Covered by Dental Insurance?
Simply put, dental insurance is designed to ease the hit your wallet takes when you have to pay for dental treatment. Dental insurance companies are responsible for covering a certain portion of the cost of procedures, depending on your premium and package, The amount of coverage depends on many factors like the company’s policies, as well as the dental emergency or treatment in question.
Dental insurance companies usually cover medically necessary dental procedures; this means that the dental procedure needs to be an emergency and one that is deemed medically necessary. Insurance plans also often cover the cost of preventive care, as routine dental exams are paramount towards preventing serious and expensive oral health issues down the road. In many cases, the cost of things such as cleanings, X-rays, and exams are fully covered whereas restorative treatment options like crowns, fillings, and root canals might only be partially covered.
Is Cosmetic Dentistry Ever Covered?
Dental insurance companies can sometimes cover cosmetic dental procedures, but it works a little differently since they are an elective form of surgery. Cosmetic dental procedures are done to improve the general appearance of a person’s smile—not to necessarily save or safeguard it. This means that they are not essential and can be done away with in the eyes of many insurance companies.
However, there are different situations when a cosmetic dental treatment might be considered a medical necessity. This is because sometimes cosmetic dentists use restorative solutions—for instance, if a patient’s teeth were damaged or lost in an accident, something like veneers, crowns, or dental implants could be used to restore the look and functionality of the compromised teeth. This way, the procedure technically is still “cosmetic” dentistry, even though it also has undeniable medical benefits. In such cases, the insurance company will have to review the procedure to deem whether it’s covered.
Making Cosmetic Care More Affordable
Even if your insurance plan isn’t able to cover your desired cosmetic treatment, there are ways to attain a brighter and whiter smile without breaking the bank. Most dental practices have other options of helping patients afford various treatments, and many offices are happy to offer plenty of assistance and flexibility. Some practices also offer in-house payment plans that help you afford cosmetic treatments in addition to you or your family’s regular dental care.
Sadly, cosmetic dental procedures aren’t always covered by insurance plans; it just simply depends on the nature of the situation and if they treatment is medically necessary. That said, knowing the factors at work and what you can to do make treatment affordable can ensure that your smile is healthy and bright for many years to come.
About the Practice
Washington Dental Associates is proud to serve the dental needs of the Bergenfield, NJ area under the leadership of Dr. Mariliza LaCap, Dr. Darren Tong, and Dr. Andres Munoz. If you have any questions about what services are covered by your insurance plan or you’d like to schedule an appointment, feel free to visit the practice’s website or give them a call for assistance: (201) 453-4863.