Dental insurance doesn’t cover cosmetic dentistry, right? That’s right, except that cosmetic dentistry isn’t always separate from other types of dentistry. Often, some procedures can beautify your smile and are covered in whole or in part by your insurance.

Here’s a guide to help you understand when your dental insurance might cover your cosmetic dentistry procedure.

young Asian man in plaid shirt, smilingHealthy Smiles Are Beautiful Smiles

Why would insurance cover any cosmetic dentistry procedure at all? It’s simple: healthy smiles are also beautiful smiles. Many dental procedures that beautify your smile also make them healthier. Your dental insurance is looking at the procedure as a general dentistry or reconstructive dentistry procedure, but you still get to enjoy the cosmetic benefits.

Cleanings and Checkups

One of the most covered dental procedures is the basic checkup and cleaning. Under many insurance plans, these are 100% covered. Every six months, you can get one with little to no out-of-pocket expenses.

Many people don’t appreciate how good your regular checkups are for the beauty of your smile. Removing unsightly tartar and polishing your teeth can be almost as beneficial as teeth whitening for rejuvenating the appearance of your smile. Plus, you’ll enjoy the benefits of healthy, attractive gums because cleanings help prevent gum disease. You will also reduce your risk for cavities, which are dark stains on your smile, and demineralizations that give your teeth a mottled appearance.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are a restorative dentistry procedure. They strengthen and protect a damaged tooth. However, they can do more than that.

When a dental crown covers a decayed or cracked tooth, they give the tooth an entirely new surface. This new surface is beautiful. A dental crown can be made of the same materials used for some porcelain veneers. A decayed, damaged, and discolored tooth can be made beautiful again. It’s almost like getting an entirely new tooth. Because the procedure offers essential health benefits, dental insurance will likely cover a significant portion of the cost.


There’s no doubt that having straight teeth is one of the most important aspects of having an attractive smile. So, we usually think of orthodontics as a cosmetic procedure. However, there are also significant health benefits to having straight teeth.

Straight teeth are easier to clean. They’re less likely to get food chunks stuck between them, and you can access all the surfaces you need to clean. Flossing is more manageable, too. The result is that orthodontics can potentially cut your risk of gum disease almost in half. Plus, you might have a lower risk of chipping or cracking teeth. That’s a significant health benefit alongside the obvious cosmetic advantages of having a straight smile, so most dental insurance offers some coverage for orthodontics.

Dental Implants

Perhaps even more than crooked teeth, having a missing tooth will make your smile look unattractive. So replacing a missing tooth will dramatically improve the appearance of your smile. Of all the tooth replacement options, dental implants are not only the most attractive, but they’re also the best for the health of your teeth and gums.

Dental implants don’t rely on your other teeth for support, so they don’t increase the risk of losing additional teeth. Plus, an implant will stimulate your bone and support your gums, which means there’s less bone loss. Retaining bone not only helps the implant, but it also helps your natural teeth too. Because of these health benefits, most dental insurance offers some coverage for dental implants.

From a cosmetic perspective, a dental implant is almost indistinguishable from a natural tooth. It’s like getting your lost tooth back, as good as ever—and sometimes better.

Insurance Companies Can Be Unpredictable

If you are considering how dental insurance can help you pay for your cosmetic dentistry, you need to be prepared for the possibility that the insurance company won’t actually pay for the treatment. Even if the coverage seems to be laid out clearly, insurance companies will sometimes wheedle their way out of paying for what should be their obligation.

In addition, when insurance does cover your cosmetic dentistry, it likely won’t cover it entirely. Instead, it will offer coverage for what it considers a comparable procedure specifically intended only for reconstruction, without allowance for cosmetics. For example, your insurance might cover the cost of a metal crown, not a ceramic one, or pay for traditional braces, but not Invisalign. We can help you understand your coverage, so you have a good idea of what to expect, but there still may be surprises.

All things considered, insurance coverage can amount to a considerable discount on cosmetic dentistry, so it’s often worth pursuing. You have to be prepared with other payment options just in case. To help with this, we offer financing options to help cover your share of the cost.

Affordable Cosmetic Dentistry in Wilmington, DE

At the dental office of Michael T. Rosen in Wilmington, DE, we believe everyone deserves a beautiful smile. We do everything we can to make that beautiful smile affordable while ensuring it achieves your cosmetic goals and lives up to our quality standards.

To learn how we can help make your beautiful smile more accessible, please call (302) 994-0979 or email us to schedule an appointment at the office of Dr. Michael T. Rosen in Wilmington, DE.