iQuanti: Dental insurance may cover some or all of the costs associated with restoration procedures. Meanwhile, most dental insurance companies classify cosmetic procedures as elective. As such, they generally do not cover the costs associated with cosmetic dental treatments.
If you have dental insurance and want cosmetic treatment, help is available. And if you want to go ahead with a cosmetic dental procedure, you can figure out the best course of action to pay for it.
What is an aesthetic dental procedure?
A cosmetic dental procedure is performed only to improve a patient’s smile. The following are examples of cosmetic dental procedures:
- Dental implants: Replacement titanium roots that form the basis of a missing tooth.
- Tooth whitening: Products that whiten teeth and enhance their appearance.
- Veneers: Custom-made shells that are glued to the front of the teeth and change color, shape, size and length.
In general, cosmetic dental procedures are not considered medically necessary if the tooth or tissue is not injured, damaged or decayed.
What is the difference between cosmetic and restorative dental procedure?
A restorative dental procedure is considered medically necessary if a patient has tooth or gum problems caused by decay, disease, accident, or injury. There may be times when a dental procedure is viewed as both aesthetic and restorative.
For example, a person can lose teeth as a result of an accident. In this case, a restorative dental procedure can be used to replace a patient’s missing teeth. The procedure is also considered cosmetic, as it improves the patient’s smile.
How do I know if a dental procedure is cosmetic or restorative?
Consult your dental insurance provider to learn more about your coverage. Your insurer can give you an overview of the dental procedures covered by your plan.
How can I pay for a cosmetic dental procedure that is not covered by insurance?
Several financing options are available to those who wish to receive cosmetic dental procedures not covered by insurance. These include:
Health savings account (HSA)
An HSA allows you to set aside money for qualifying medical expenses, tax-free. You can use HSA funds for dental expenses not covered by insurance. But there may be restrictions, depending on the cosmetic procedure.
Health care credit card
CareCredit and other healthcare credit cards can provide immediate funding for a cosmetic dental procedure. Health care credit cards can offer both short and long term financing options. Some of these cards offer an introductory 0% interest period, but if you are unable to pay off the card before the interest-free period expires, you may experience a high interest rate.
Continue a cosmetic dental procedure
Cosmetic dental procedures can have lasting effects on your smile. Procedures are generally not covered by dental insurance, but financing options are available.
Consult your dentist to find out if you are eligible for cosmetic surgery and how it can help you improve your smile. Next, assess your dental insurance coverage. And if you go ahead with a cosmetic dental procedure, you can seek funding for the treatment you want.