Cosmetic dental surgery or procedures are often done as elective procedures, and as such, they are often not covered by insurance plans. Tooth whitening, for instance, is not typically covered, but sometimes a procedure will have a function that involved the health of the gums, teeth, or jaw bone. These functional cosmetic procedures might be covered if done for health reasons.
While tooth implant surgery is normally considered cosmetic, it can have a functional purpose. If there was trauma involved in the loss of the tooth that caused damage to the gums or jaw, having an implant placed to replace the tooth may serve the function of filling the gap as well as protecting the jaw and gums in the area. The implant may also keep the other teeth from shifting to fill the hole, which will cause long-term issues in adults. And it can make it easier to chew and help improve the diet of the patient by reducing the limitation of certain foods in their diet. Shifting of the teeth can affect the entire bite of a person, and it can make it harder to eat or talk properly over time.
A bridge is typically placed to fill a gap in one or several teeth, and again, it is normally considered a cosmetic dental procedure, but it can also be functional. Like implants, a bridge will improve the patient's ability to chew and hide missing teeth, but it will also strengthen the area where the teeth are missing and keep the teeth from shifting and causing damage to the jaw or other teeth. It can also protect the gums, as it covers them, but this is a procedure that may not be covered, depending on the insurance company.
Insurance and Cosmetic Procedures
While it is common for an insurance carrier to deny cosmetic dental procedures, check with them if you require something that has a functional purpose. If the procedure improves your overall health, corrects a problem, or prevents a dental issue, the insurance company may consider it necessary, but you may have to have the dentist confirm that it is medically necessary. The dentist may even know what certain insurance carriers will accept or not if they have worked with the company before. If you can't get coverage, some dentists will work with you to make payments or handle the costs another way, but if you check before the prejudices are scheduled, you will not end up with a surprise bill you can't afford.