Most of the time, dental insurance only covers dentistry procedures that they classify as medically necessary. This means that many procedures are not covered and are considered to be elective. Traditional dental insurance plans focus on procedures that restore oral health more than improve the look of a smile. At All About Smiles, cosmetic dentist Dr. Brett Cotham and his professional team help patients understand what their dental insurance does and does not cover prior to performing any cosmetic dentistry procedures. Cosmetic dentistry is still a good option, and best of all, our Rogers, AR office offers payment plans to help you get the smile makeover you’ve been dreaming of.
Which cosmetic dentistry procedures are not covered by insurance?
Cosmetic dentistry procedures are treatments used to improve the appearance of a smile. However, these procedures may not be medically necessary, meaning they are not typically covered by dental insurance. Some cosmetic dentistry procedures that are not usually covered by insurance include:
- Porcelain veneers: When used for cosmetic reasons, veneers are not covered by dental insurance. Porcelain veneers are thin shells that cover the existing teeth while restoring oral health and improving the appearance of a smile.
- Aesthetic teeth shaping: Our cosmetic dentist can change the shape of a tooth or teeth to make them look more appealing. Shaping can help promote good oral hygiene as well.
- Teeth whitening: Whether performed in-office or at home, professional teeth whitening is used to eliminate stains, yellowing, and discoloration on the teeth.
Ultimately, it’s important to understand the coverage that your dental insurance provides. Some plans don’t provide coverage for cosmetic dentistry, while others may offer coverage for procedures that can benefit oral health and are not just for aesthetics.
What is a medically necessary cosmetic dentistry procedure?
Cosmetic dentistry encompasses any procedure done for aesthetic purposes only. However, if you need dental treatment due to an injury or illness, it is important to see your dentist right away and have the issue treated. You may need a cosmetic dentistry procedure that is deemed to be medically necessary. These types of treatments address problems that cause a loss of dental function or impact a patient’s ability to live a healthy life. Damage to the mouth that increases the chance of an infection, may cause a tooth or teeth to break, is the cause of chronic pain, or affects a patient’s ability to eat may be covered under your insurance plan as a medically necessary procedure.
Medically necessary procedures that the American Dental Association classifies under the category of cosmetic dentistry include:
- Veneers (for purposes other than aesthetic)
While some of these procedures are performed by a general dentist, a cosmetic dentist such as Dr. Brett Cotham at All About Smiles in Northwest Arkansas may be preferred, due to his specialization in these procedures.
Dr. Cotham uses select cosmetic dentistry procedures to restore broken, missing, or diseased teeth, treat diseased gums, and remedy teeth that may have shifted for a variety of reasons. Consulting a dentist is the best option when it comes to determining if your cosmetic treatment will be classified as medically necessary or elective by your dental insurance.
Cosmetic dentistry procedures that will improve your smile
There are many different cosmetic dentistry procedures that are used by Dr. Cotham and the professional staff at All About Smiles to improve the appearance of a smile, whether for cosmetic or medical reasons. Here are some of the most popular cosmetic treatments we offer patients in Rogers, AR:
- Dental bonding and contouring: These are great solutions for fixing flaws in the teeth such as gaps or chips, and neither procedure requires anesthesia. During this process, Dr. Cotham applies composite resin to the damaged tooth or teeth before shaping them to the desired shape or length. The material is hardened before any additional layers are added. After the resin dries, the tooth is polished for a natural look.
- Zoom! teeth whitening: We use Zoom! teeth whitening to give our patients in Rogers, AR a brighter smile. Zoom QuickPro removes surface stains, and Zoom WhiteSpeed can correct deeper discoloration due to aging and certain medications. We also offer an at-home teeth whitening kit by Opalescence, which is personalized based on your existing enamel color and comes with detailed instructions for optimal results.
- Inlays and onlays: These cosmetic dentistry options work well for large cavities that are too big to fill, but don’t need a crown. This restoration is made at our office, which speeds up the time the process is completed. After the inlay or onlay is custom made, it is carefully placed and bonded on the tooth, and the fit is adjusted as needed.
Talk to a cosmetic dentist about improving your smile
Achieving a beautiful smile is easier than you may think. A smile consultation at our Northwest Arkansas office will allow you to discuss your overall aesthetic goals for your ideal smile. During this visit, we can also go over which procedures may or may not be deemed medically necessary by your dental insurance. Dr. Cotham has the necessary experience, knowledge, and skills to help you to achieve your dream smile. Call us today to schedule your cosmetic dentistry consultation at At All About Smiles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.