Cosmetic Dentistry |3 min read

Is Cosmetic Dentistry Covered by Insurance?

A woman checking her dental insurance coverage

Cosmetic dental treatment is a great way to restore your confidence and the beauty of your smile – but finances are a pressing concern for many.

Will your dental insurance cover your smile makeover, or will you have to pay out of pocket?

We’re here to teach you about common cosmetic treatments, their costs, and if insurance covers them.

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the esthetics of your smile. Since this type of treatment is typically optional, it’s’ referred to as “elective” treatment, which focuses on a patient’s smile and image.

What is the Difference between Cosmetic and General Dentistry?

As mentioned, cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of your teeth and gums.

General dentistry, conversely, refers to preventative and restorative care like teeth cleanings, dental fillings, crowns, and bridges.

To learn more about our cosmetic dentistry services, click here.

Types of Cosmetic Dental Treatments and Their Cost

Before and after a teeth whitening treatment

Teeth WhiteningProfessional teeth whitening can dramatically and safely lighten the shade of your teeth and brighten your smile. Costs typically range between $600 for traditional in-office whitening to around $1,000 for laser treatment.

Dental BondingDental bonding involves the application of a suitably colored composite resin. This material covers up and conceals cracks, discolorations, and other cosmetic imperfections. The typical cost is between $100 and $400 per tooth but can vary by case.

Porcelain Veneers – Made of medical-grade ceramic or composite porcelain, veneers are thin, strong shells that adhere to the front surfaces of your teeth, completely altering their shape, length, and appearance. Prices start from $250 for composite and $900 for full porcelain (per tooth).

Tooth Contouring – This procedure removes small amounts of enamel to change the shape of your teeth, and will typically run you between $50 and $300 per tooth.

Gum Contouring – During gum contouring, your dentist removes excess gum tissue and reshapes your gum line for a more symmetrical, balanced appearance. Prices range between $50 and $350 per tooth.

Contact us today for more accurate prices and a full list of our cosmetic dentistry treatments.

Does Insurance Cover Cosmetic Dentistry?

Usually, dental insurance will not cover cosmetic dentistry procedures that have absolutely no medical necessity.

However, insurance will cover a variety of treatments that improve the appearance of your smile, as long as they’re tied to a clear medical benefit.

A procedure is considered cosmetic or elective if:

  • Its primary purpose is to improve the aesthetics of the patient’s smile
  • The intended treatment area is not injured, impaired, or decayed
  • There is no medically necessary reason for performing the procedure

Dental insurance considers a procedure restorative if:

  • It aims to treat severe decay or disease
  • It is necessary because of an accident or injury (fixing severely chipped teeth, for example)
  • It replaces missing teeth or alters the patient’s bite

How Much Will Insurance Cover for Cosmetic Dentistry?

Providers often cover up to 50% of the total cost of a cosmetic procedure, but this varies widely by plan and provider. However, there must be an identifiable medical benefit for the procedure supporting the aesthetic benefit.

Midtown Dental Excellence can help you keep down the cost of your procedures, no matter if you use insurance or pay out of pocket. Speak to us to work out your best options.

Midtown Dental Excellence is proud to offer professional and caring dentistry for patients in Manhattan, MidTown East, and Upper East side New York, NY.

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