There are two main aspects of your oral health: functional and cosmetic. There’s no question that your teeth need to be healthy so you can eat a wide variety of foods, but how your smile looks is also important! In fact, many studies have shown that the appearance of someone’s smile has a big impact on their confidence and self-esteem. Unfortunately, most dental insurance plans are primarily focused on the function of your teeth and don’t cover a lot of cosmetic procedures. But, if you’d like to transform your smile with cosmetic dentistry, is anything covered when you see a cosmetic dentist in McLean? Find out in this blog!
What’s Considered Cosmetic?
If a procedure only benefits the appearance of your smile and isn’t necessary for the health of your teeth, an insurance company will regard it as cosmetic.
However, the answer isn’t always black and white! For example, if you had a cavity on a front tooth and it was fixed with bonding (white filling material) that’s become stained over the years, it may be a sign that it’s no longer functioning properly.
You probably want to replace it because it’s stained, but your dentist might say it’s also not working as well as it should. When dental work needs to be repaired or replaced because it’s not functioning properly, insurance will often cover it because it’s necessary for the health of the tooth.
In these cases, the cosmetic benefits are simply a bonus!
Are Any Cosmetic Procedures Covered?
The most important thing to remember about this question is that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of insurance plans out there, so the best way to know what your plan covers is to contact them directly. In many cases, a dentist in McLean will help you with the process!
The main procedures that usually have coverage are crowns, bridges and bonding (tooth-colored fillings). While these procedures have the added benefit of enhancing your smile, they’re covered because they restore the function of your teeth.
The following procedures are not generally covered:
- Gum contouring
- Veneers (although in rare cases, repairs might be covered)
Remember, talk with a cosmetic dentist in McLean about what your plan covers specifically. They’ll be able to request a pre-authorization from your insurance company that gives an estimate of which costs you’re responsible for before ever starting the procedure.
The more research you can do beforehand, the fewer surprises you’ll have later!
About the Author
Dr. Fred Farahi is an award-winning general, restorative and cosmetic dentist who takes pride in providing outstanding cosmetic work to his patients. He understands how overwhelming it can be to determine what insurance covers and what it doesn’t, so he and his staff make every effort to help patients navigate their insurance benefits. If you have any questions, he can be reached via his website or at (703) 821-1633.