Prosthodontics, Implants, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry

Cosmetic Dental Procedures Covered by Insurance

Dental cosmetic procedures are quite expensive. An average person spends an average of more than $1,000 on cosmetic dental procedures over his or her lifetime. That is a considerable amount of money to spend on something that the insurance can cover. Tarzana Dental Care offers the best dental services to our clients, and we accept payment through insurance coverage to cut down your expenses. Some of the cosmetic dental procedures covered by insurance are dental implants, crowns, fillings, root canal, bonding, and veneers.

Definition of Cosmetic Dental Procedures

Cosmetic dentistry is a type of dental procedure that focuses on changing the teeth to enhance the overall appearance of a person's smile. This kind of dental work aims to improve appearance rather than treating a specific medical condition. Cosmetic dental procedures can also be intended for treating a specific dental condition, which might affect the normal appearance or function of the teeth.

Some of the common types of cosmetic dental procedures include: 

  • Dental implant
  • Composite bonding
  • Whitening
  • Veneers
  • Inlays and onlays
  • Dental crown
  • Reshaping
  • Bite reclamation
  • Bridging
  • Reshaping
  • Straightening
  • Bracing
  • Invisalign

Types of Cosmetic Dental Procedures Covered by Insurance

Not all cosmetic dental procedures are covered by dental insurance. This is due to the dental policy that allows coverage for medical-related conditions. This means that one cannot ask for coverage for an instance that is purely directed or objected to improving one's appearance.

However, your insurance can still cater for non-eligible cosmetic dental procedures if there is a medical reason behind their consideration. For instance, if you need the non-eligible cosmetic dental procedure due to an accident or as part of the treatment, your insurance might decide to cover some of the expenses that you incur. Here is a detailed view of the standard cosmetic dental procedures covered by insurance. 

Dental Implants

A dental implant is a permanent way of replacing a missing or decayed tooth. The dentist places an artificial tooth on top of a bone-like material that is infused into the jaw. The support is made of titanium. 

Once you have the dental implant installed, you do not have to worry about removing your false to eat or clean it. This makes dental implants a permanent option that most people with missing teeth can consider. 

Types of Dental Implant

There are two different types of dental implants that one can receive. The difference between the two is influenced by the style you need to achieve. These types are as follows: 

Endosteal Implants

This is the most common type of implant that one can receive. In an endosteal implant, the dentist will try to get the implant directly into the jawbone by drilling a small hole on it.

Subperiosteal Implants

If your jawbone cannot accommodate an implant, due to weakness or shallowness, the dentist can resolve it by placing the implant on top of the bone. This procedure is referred to as the subperiosteal implant. This form of implant is still as good as the endosteal implant since it offers the same level of support. 

Anyone is eligible to get an implant as long as he or she has a healthy jawbone and healthy gums. However, those with shallow jawbone can have it built-up before the dental procedure. Please note, people with chronic diseases such as diabetes and leukemia experience slow healing after the implant. Also, it is advisable to avoid smoking since it can double the risk of losing another tooth along with the slow healing. 

When it comes to expenses, dental implants can be expensive since the lowest price that one can get is $1500 and a maximum of $7500. This calls for insurance coverage. Most dental insurance can be reluctant to cover such expenses. However, if the dental implant has a preventive benefit to the policyholder, the insurance company might consider offering some financial assistance. The only preventive benefit that an implant can achieve is stopping an infection through the exposed gum, which might spread to the other healthy teeth. 


A filling is a term used to explain a malleable material that is used to fill a tooth cavity. The treatment is geared towards delaying cavities after tooth extraction and restoring its functions.

Usually, a hole forms on the exterior tooth due to cavity or trauma. Therefore, it needs to be filled to avoid worsening the hole, leading to bacteria growth that can reach the interior of the tooth. If the cavity reaches the interior of the teeth, this might demand a severe dental treatment such as root canal.

It is easy to determine whether you need root filling. Once you start experiencing sensitivity to cold or heat at the same area of the tooth, this might be strong indications that you need a tooth filling. Besides that, you might need to undertake this procedure if you start experiencing pain when biting, or notice that the tooth has been fractured, is rough or has chipped. 

Once you visit a dentist for a cavity filling, the dentist will evaluate the tooth to determine the root cause of the problem and, if necessary, take an X-ray.  Before the filling starts, the dentist will numb your teeth and start drilling out the decayed tooth. This process usually takes a few minutes.

Your tooth will remain numb for a few more hours, and there are no significant risks that you might experience. However, you should keep in touch with your dentist to seek advice in case of any complications. 

Types of Filling

Several options are available for tooth filing, and each option has its pros and cons. Your choice depends on what your insurance can cover, costs, and your aesthetic preference. Here is a list of the types of filing that you can choose. 

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam has remained as one of the most preferred dental filling materials for years. The material is durable and suitable for filing teeth at the back of the mouth, such as the molars. They are made out of several metallic elements, making them visible whenever you laugh or smile. This type of filling is the least expensive compared with all other cavity-filling materials. 

Composite Fillings  

Composite fillings are sometimes referred to as filled resins or composite. They are a combination of quartz filler or glass, which makes it easier to match the color of the teeth. These types of filing are also relatively long-lasting and can be used in areas where there is mild chewing, such as the incisors and the canines. 


Gold and silver amalgam features as the most common types of metals that can be used in a cavity filling. Gold is quite expensive and can cost ten times the cost of silver. Metal amalgam tops the list of the most durable cavity-filling materials, although they are quite costly. 


A ceramic cavity-filling is a tooth-colored material that has a low likelihood of showing any stains compared with a composite cavity filling. However, the price is usually a factor since their cost can be close to a gold cavity filler. Also, your insurance coverage might decline to pay all the expenses spent in its installation. 

Glass Ionomer

This is a combination of glass and acrylic that creates fluoride that protects the teeth. Glass ionomer is less durable compared with other types of filling, which requires replacement for as little as five years.

Fillings can be more expensive compared with necessary dental check-ups. Most filling treatments hold their prices as follows: 

  • $50-$150 for one silver amalgam filling
  • $90-$250 for one composite filling
  • $250-$4,500 for porcelain or gold-cast filing

Although the price for dental filling might be high, most dental insurance policies allow payment for the treatment since it is a preventive dental care procedure. However, you must consult with your dentist and insurance company to check the extent of coverage that it can reach. 

Root Canal

The term root canal can be used to explain the inner part of a tooth that is between the tooth root and pulp and the dental procedure used to remove the infected material, to relieve one from root canal pain. The root canal consists of the blood vessels and the nerves. The removal of the root canal is a standard procedure that helps in treating pain that results from decay or infection of the tooth pulp. 

A root canal usually results from extensive tooth decay that has reached the outer layer of the tooth leading to root canal pain. It can also result from tooth damage such as cracks and chips that causes tooth decay and root canal pain. Finally, the root canal can result from various risk factors that can cause infection of the tooth pulp. 

Several signs indicate whether one needs a root canal. Some of the signs include: 

  • Severe teeth pain when eating or applying pressure on a specific area in the mouth
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold drinks
  • Darkening of the tooth
  • Swelling in the gum

The cost of undertaking a root canal depends on the difficulty of removing the root vessels and nerves. The average price of removing the root canal is $250 for a single root removal procedure and an average of $185 for a single, residual tooth removal.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a tooth-like cap that is placed on a problematic tooth to restore its size and shape. It covers the affected tooth and is cemented in place. Dental crowns are used for the following: 

  • Protecting the tooth after a root canal
  • Covering a tooth once a large filling has been placed
  • Protecting a tooth from further wear
  • Correcting a cracked tooth syndrome
  • Cover an implant

There are four types of dental crowns that one can get. Your choice depends on the recommendations that your dentist provides. There are four types of materials used in dental crowns. These types include ceramic, porcelain with metal, gold, and base metal. 

The cost of installing dental crowns varies depending on the material that one chooses. Subsequently, a typical crown dental would cost as follows: 

  • An average of $328 for single resin crown
  • An average of $821 for a single porcelain-fused crown
  • An average of $776 for a base metal crown

Your insurance can cover your expenses, depending on their policies. It is ideal to consult your dentist and insurance company before you decide to undertake this procedure.

Teeth Bonding

In simple terms, teeth bonding can be explained as a cosmetic procedure that involves the placing of a colored plastic porcelain veneer or resin composite to increase the dental look or feel of a person. In teeth bonding, the dentist usually applies a bit of the composite where it is needed to fuse with the tooth using a special bonding agent to ensure that the bond goes where it is required.

Although teeth bonding is widely preferred for cosmetic purposes, it can be an ideal way to prevent a tooth from cracking, which can be a significant cause of infection. Most bonding lasts for three to ten years before replacement or retouching. However, the lifetime of the procedure depends on one's oral habits that one has and how much bonding was used. 

The cost of undertaking a dental bond depends on where you live. An average price of the same would range between $100 to $400 for a single tooth. You should check with your insurance to determine whether they can cover your expenses partially or wholly.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are custom-made ceramic shells that adhere to the surface of the teeth. Their application is similar to nail polish and can last for a long time if properly cared for. The ceramic material can be tinted to adopt the exact shade that matches your complexion. In recent advancements, the veneer can be made to look exactly as the translucent quality of a real tooth.

In most cases, dental veneers are used for cosmetic purposes but can also work in preventive care since they can help in preventing cracks and chips, which can cause tooth decay.  

Although veneers can be cost-effective options for most people, not everyone suits best for the procedure. Some of the people precluded from veneer candidacy include people with: 

  • A habit of grinding or clenching the teeth
  • Significant tooth damage
  • Gum disease
  • Labial version of the teeth
  • Severe tooth crowding
  • Poor oral hygiene and excessive cavities

The cost of having a dental veneer differs depending on the type of veneer that you choose. Traditional veneers can cost as much as $925 to $2,500 per tooth and last for ten to fifteen years. A no-prep veneer can cost between $800 to $2,000 and can last for five to seven years.

Please note, veneers are not usually covered by insurance, although most insurance companies can provide financial assistance if the procedure is purely meant for preventive purposes.

Regular Check-ups

Regular dental check-ups can also work as part of cosmetic dental procedures since the procedure involves teeth cleaning. However, it is a preventive care procedure since it reduces the possibility of tooth decay.

It is recommended to seek dental check-ups at least twice a month. However, if you have undertaken any cosmetic procedure, you need to attend the check-ups within a shorter timeline.  An average dental check-up costs about $288 and can cover different activities such as X-rays, cleaning, and examination.

Cosmetic Procedures That are not Covered by Insurance

Most health insurance excludes several types of cosmetic dental procedures due to their aesthetic goal rather than preventive purpose. Here is a detailed view of the common types of cosmetic dental procedures that health insurance cannot cover. 

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a pure dental cosmetic procedure that focuses on removing teeth discoloration. Teeth usually discolor due to age or stains from foods and the drinks that people consume. Teeth whitening is not as complicated as other cosmetic procedures. Therefore, anyone can handle the procedure as long as one follows the right procedure. Even so, it is suitable to seek professional help to ensure that the process is taken with care. 

The cost of teeth whitening differs according to the dentist that you choose and the extent of your discoloration. On average, the price ranges from $ 200 to $2000. Using a tooth whitener can cost much cheaper compared with visiting a dentist, although it does not guarantee a remarkable outcome. 


Braces are metallic restraints that are set up on the teeth to improve the look of a person by straightening the teeth. Braces can also help in enhancing your biting. The best time to have braces is during your childhood. Adults can still get braces as long as they have healthy teeth.

Several reasons can prompt a person to seek bracing as a dental procedure. These reasons are as follows:

  • Having crooked or overcrowded teeth
  • Inadequate or too much space between the teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • The appearance of your smile
  • Overjet

The cost of bracing varies depending on the type that one prefers. The range of the cost is as follows:

  • $3,000-7,00 for metal braces
  • $4,000- 8,000 for ceramic braces
  • $8,000- 10,000 for lingual braces
  • $4,000-7,400 for invisalign

Gum Contouring

Gum contouring is a dental procedure that changes the shape of your gums. A dentist can opt for this procedure if you have a lot of gum tissues making your smile appear "gummy."

The decision to undertake this procedure depends on how you feel about your gums. One can decide on this procedure if the gums appear uneven or cover too much of the teeth.

The anticipated cost for gum contouring is around $350. In most cases, this procedure is purely cosmetic, making it impossible to rely on insurance to cover some of the expenses. 

Teeth Reshaping 

Teeth reshaping is a dental procedure that helps in changing crooked teeth, cracked teeth, and overlapping teeth. It can be used as a substitute for braces under particular circumstances. Incisors are the best teeth for this procedure since they are the most visible during a smile.

Tooth reshaping is done using a laser or drill. The dentist usually assesses the teeth using an X-ray to check whether there are enough bones and the size and location of the pulp. Once the assessment is complete, the dentist can go into smoothing and polishing the teeth. The procedure takes approximately thirty minutes based on the extent of the work at hand.

Teeth reshaping costs between $50 to $300 based on the work that one needs. Ideally, your insurance does not cover for such expenses unless you cracked your teeth through an accident or trauma.

How Dental Insurance Works

It might seem easy to have your expenses covered by your insurance, whereas there are several aspects that you need to consider. Here is a summary of how your dental insurance works.

Step 1: Submitting a Claim 

Once you have given your dentist your insurance information, he or she will submit the claim to the insurance company through snail mail or electronic filing process. The dentist will include other documents such as X-rays and other medical expenses in the submission.

Please note, your dentist might also estimate your out-of-pocket payment before submitting the claim. Therefore, you might need to pay some of the expenses to have the insurance cover the rest of your costs. This depends on the policies provided by your insurance company. 

Step 2: Waiting for Payment

After submitting the claim, your dental insurance company will check whether your treatment falls in the dental plan that you have signed to. The company will provide all appropriate payment to your dentist as long as the services you have received falls into the policy.

If your policy does not cover some of the services that you have received, your dentist might contact you to get an out-of-pocket payment from you. Your insurance provider can also contact you regarding any expenses that you have incurred and do not fall into your policy.

Find a Dentist in Tarzana Near Me

Paying for your cosmetic dental procedures through your insurance can be complicated. However, with a reliable dental clinic, the process can be simple and easy to follow. This will also ensure that you undertake the procedure of your choice promptly and without any worry. We at Tarzana Dental Care cover different options of cosmetic dentistry that can be covered by insurance. Contact us today at 818-708-3232 if you need our services.