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Mini-Guide To Insurance Coverage & Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

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Who doesn't want a perfect smile? It would be safe to say that everyone does. It seems that some people are born with a good tooth gene and that perfect smile is accomplished with simple daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleanings from a dental hygienist. However, some people don't live in that perfect world, unfortunately, and other people get into accidents that damage their teeth. For these people, there is hope with cosmetic dentistry.

If you are considering cosmetic dentistry through a place like Elk Plaza Dental, you may be wondering what your options are to obtain the perfect smile and if it's covered by insurance or not. Here's a mini-guide to the types of insurances that may cover your treatment and the various types of procedures available to you.

Insurance coverage options

If you were injured in a workplace environment, you may have the right to have your teeth restored as best as possible to an acceptable level of original condition, regardless of which procedures it may require to achieve it. Of course this does depend on the laws of your state so you'll want to read over the rules and statutes for your state first.

If your dental injuries were the result of a personal injury you sustained in a motor vehicle accident or slip and fall, you may also have the right to have your teeth restored with cosmetic dentistry. In these types of situations, the insurance company of the person who caused bodily harm to you should cover the procedures.

If you don't fall into either of those categories, you may not have many options in insurance coverage. Many restorative dental procedures are considered cosmetic in nature and not covered by most dental insurance plans. However, this is not always the case and you should consult with your insurance carrier and dentist to fully understand what may or may not be covered by your insurance company. Sometimes, if a dentist states that a cosmetic dentistry procedure is necessary for proper chewing and speaking, dental insurance plans may cover the procedures.

Cosmetic dentistry procedures

There are a number of procedure options available to you, depending on the condition of your teeth and if any of the gum tissue and underlying bone structures are damaged. Sometimes, dentists and oral surgeons may recommend several procedures for a full-mouth reconstruction, if necessary. Here are a few of the procedures you may need.

  • Dental implant. This is a procedure where the damaged tooth is completely removed and a post is screwed into the jawbone. Then, an artificial tooth is permanently glued or cemented to the post. This is an extensive procedure requiring oral surgery, anesthesia, and several visits to the dental chair.
  • Crown. In this procedure, an artificial tooth matching the damaged tooth is permanently cemented to what remains of the broken tooth. A root canal is performed on what is left of the severed tooth beforehand, to reduce the risks of infection to the root. Sometimes, a second trip to the dentist is required to make sure the tooth is perfectly matched to the neighboring teeth in color and shape. A crown placement is generally less intensive than a dental implant surgery.
  • Bridge. Another alternative is a bridge. In this procedure, the remainder of the damaged tooth is removed, which could require surgery if the tooth is in fragments. The neighboring teeth are used to anchor a replacement tooth or, in other words, to bridge the gap of the damaged tooth. The neighboring teeth are usually shaved down to be able to secure the bridge. These teeth are covered by crowns that support the replacement tooth.

Cosmetic dentistry, especially for those who have suffered injuries to their teeth, is a viable restorative option. Be sure to understand what insurance coverage you have before you make an appointment.