Why Cosmetic Dentistry?
Can you put a price on your smile? We place a high value on being able to smile confidently. While a few lucky men and women are born with perfect teeth and keep them that way, many others experience problems with their teeth. The teeth may be stained or discolored. They may be uneven, even if you had braces when you were a kid. Individual teeth may become chipped, broken, or even lost.
For people whose teeth have problems like these, it’s hard to smile confidently. They may change the way that they talk to hide their teeth, and they may even be afraid to smile. Or they may experience anxiety when going into new social situations, such as a job interview or a party, because they fear letting others see their teeth. If you’re among those who experience problems with your teeth, you’d probably pay a high price to get your smile back. Fortunately, medical technology has advanced to a point where it’s possible to repair nearly all damage to teeth in a natural-looking way, and to straighten teeth unobtrusively with technologies like Invisalign. And yet, you may wonder if it’s possible for you to afford it.
Costs for these procedures can run from a few hundred dollars for simple procedures to a few thousand for more complex procedures. We’ve compiled an up-to-date list of costs for the most common cosmetic dental procedures. For more detail, please click the link at right for the specific procedure you’re considering.
Keep in mind that these costs are averages. Costs may vary by region and by individual dentist. Please check with the dentist(s) you are considering to determine the exact cost of the procedure.
Will Insurance Cover It?
Dental care is not usually covered by medical insurance; it requires a separate policy. If you do have dental insurance, then part of the cost of some of these procedures may be covered under your plan. In general, dental insurance will pay to fix teeth that are broken (as this is considered “restorative care”) or teeth with a medical problem (such as sensitivity). If your bite is uneven, and you’re experiencing jaw pain or tooth damage as a result, then orthodontics (straightening your teeth) may be fully or partially covered. Some procedures, such as teeth whitening, are virtually never covered. You should call your insurance company to determine what your plan covers. Don’t make assumptions; it never hurts to ask.
What Are the Options?
If your dental insurance won’t cover your procedure or will only partially cover it, then you’ll need to figure out the financing. If you don’t already have the money saved, you have many options available. Many clinics offer financing plans for their patients. You can also get a medical credit card or other credit card, often with an attractive introductory interest rate; a medical loan, personal loan, or home equity loan from your bank; a loan from your 401(k); or loans or gifts from family and friends. Even if your credit isn’t great, you’d be surprised how many options you have. For more detail, check out our Dentistry Financing page.