Does Insurance Cover Teeth Whitening
June 15, 2023
In general, dental insurance plans do not typically cover teeth whitening procedures because they are considered to be cosmetic in nature rather than medically necessary. Dental insurance plans typically focus on coverage for preventive, restorative, and medically necessary dental procedures.
Teeth whitening is primarily performed to improve the appearance of teeth and does not typically address functional or oral health issues. As a result, dental insurance plans are less likely to provide coverage for teeth whitening treatments. It's important to review your specific dental insurance policy or contact your insurance provider directly to confirm the details of your coverage. While dental insurance is unlikely to cover the cost of teeth whitening, there may be exceptions or alternative options available, such as dental discount plans that offer reduced fees for cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening.
If you are interested in teeth whitening, you may consider discussing it with your dentist. They can provide information on the available treatment options, their associated costs, and any potential discounts or financing options that may be available to you.
When is teeth whitening covered by insurance?
Teeth whitening procedures are typically not covered by dental insurance since they are considered to be cosmetic in nature and not medically necessary. However, there may be certain situations where teeth whitening could be covered by insurance under specific circumstances. These situations can vary based on the insurance plan and the terms of coverage. Here are a few potential scenarios:
Medically Necessary Reasons: In some cases, teeth discoloration or staining may be caused by a medical condition or a side effect of certain medications or treatments. If the discoloration is deemed medically necessary to address a specific dental health issue, insurance coverage may be considered. However, coverage for teeth whitening in such cases is relatively rare, and you would need to provide documentation and evidence of the medical necessity.
Trauma or Injury: If teeth discoloration or staining is a result of a traumatic dental injury, such as a blow to the mouth, some dental insurance plans may provide coverage for teeth whitening as part of the restorative treatment. However, coverage would typically be limited to the specific teeth affected by the injury, and there may be a need for documentation or evidence of the injury.
Employer-Sponsored Plans: In some cases, employer-sponsored dental insurance plans may offer optional cosmetic coverage as an additional benefit. These plans may include coverage for teeth whitening, but it is important to review the plan details and limitations to understand if such coverage is provided.
It's crucial to carefully review your dental insurance policy or contact your insurance provider directly to understand the specific coverage details and any exceptions related to teeth whitening. Insurance coverage for teeth whitening is generally uncommon, and out-of-pocket payment is typically expected for these cosmetic procedures. Your dentist or dental professional can provide you with information about teeth whitening options, associated costs, and any available discounts or financing plans that may be offered.
Does out-of-network dental insurance cover teeth whitening?
Out-of-network dental insurance coverage for teeth whitening procedures can vary depending on the specific insurance policy you have. Typically, dental insurance plans, whether in-network or out-of-network, do not cover teeth whitening because it is considered a cosmetic procedure rather than medically necessary. However, there may be exceptions or specific circumstances where coverage may be provided. Here are a few points to consider:
Standalone Cosmetic Coverage: Some dental insurance plans offer optional cosmetic coverage as an add-on benefit. These plans may provide coverage for certain cosmetic procedures, including teeth whitening, even when performed by an out-of-network provider. However, it is important to review your specific plan's coverage details to determine if teeth whitening is included and if any limitations or restrictions apply.
Non-Cosmetic Reasons: In certain situations, teeth discoloration or staining may be caused by a medical condition, medication side effects, or dental trauma. If teeth whitening is deemed medically necessary to address these underlying issues, some dental insurance plans may provide coverage, even for out-of-network providers. However, coverage for teeth whitening in such cases is relatively rare, and it would typically require documentation and evidence of the medical necessity.
Out-of-Pocket Payment: In most cases, teeth whitening is considered a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by dental insurance, whether in-network or out-of-network. As a result, you should anticipate paying for the procedure out of pocket.
To determine the specific coverage for teeth whitening under your out-of-network dental insurance plan, it is best to review your policy documents or contact your insurance provider directly. They can provide detailed information about the benefits, limitations, and any exceptions related to teeth whitening coverage, specifically for out-of-network providers.
How to find teeth whitening covered by insurance
Finding teeth whitening procedures covered by insurance can be challenging since dental insurance plans typically consider teeth whitening to be a cosmetic procedure rather than medically necessary. However, here are a few steps you can take to explore potential coverage options:
Review Your Insurance Policy: Carefully review your dental insurance policy documents to understand the coverage details. Look for any information related to cosmetic procedures, teeth whitening, or coverage for elective treatments. Pay attention to any language or clauses that mention teeth whitening.
Contact Your Insurance Provider: Reach out to your dental insurance provider directly to inquire about coverage for teeth whitening. Contact the customer service or claims department and ask specific questions regarding the coverage details and any potential exceptions or circumstances where coverage may apply. Be prepared to provide your policy information for a more accurate response.
Ask for Medically Necessary Consideration: In cases where teeth discoloration or staining is due to a medical condition or a side effect of medications or treatments, you can discuss with your dentist the possibility of submitting a claim for medically necessary teeth whitening. This would involve providing appropriate documentation and evidence of the medical necessity. Your dentist can help guide you through this process and provide the necessary documentation.
Employer-Sponsored Plans: If you have an employer-sponsored dental insurance plan, check if there are any optional cosmetic coverage add-ons available. These plans may offer coverage for certain cosmetic procedures, including teeth whitening. Review your plan details or contact your human resources department for information about such options.
Explore Dental Discount Plans: Dental discount plans, also known as dental savings plans, offer discounted fees for various dental services, including teeth whitening. While not insurance, these plans can help reduce the out-of-pocket costs associated with cosmetic dental treatments. Research and compare dental discount plans to find one that provides discounts for teeth whitening procedures.
Consider Out-of-Pocket Payment: If insurance coverage for teeth whitening is not available, you may need to consider paying for the procedure out of pocket. Inquire with your dentist about the cost of teeth whitening and any financing options they offer to make it more affordable.
Remember, teeth whitening coverage under dental insurance plans is rare, and you may need to explore alternative options or consider paying out of pocket. It's important to review your specific insurance policy and contact your insurance provider directly to obtain accurate and up-to-date information regarding coverage for teeth whitening.
What to do if you can’t afford teeth whitening
If you can't afford teeth whitening due to financial constraints, there are several options you can consider:
Over-the-Counter Whitening Products: Explore over-the-counter teeth whitening products, such as whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, or whitening gels. These products are generally more affordable compared to professional teeth whitening treatments and may provide noticeable results over time.
Home Remedies: Consider trying natural home remedies for teeth whitening, such as brushing with baking soda, using hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash (in diluted form), or rubbing the inside of a banana peel on your teeth. While the effectiveness of these methods may vary, they are low-cost alternatives that some people find helpful.
Dental Schools or Teaching Institutions: Contact dental schools or teaching institutions in your area that have dental hygiene or dental assisting programs. These educational institutions often offer teeth whitening services at reduced prices or may provide opportunities to participate in training programs or clinical studies.
Dental Discount Plans: Look into dental discount plans, which provide reduced fees for dental services, including teeth whitening. These plans can help make professional teeth whitening more affordable, even if it is not covered by traditional dental insurance.
Negotiate with Dentists: Speak with local dentists or dental clinics to inquire about any discounted or promotional offers for teeth whitening. They may have special pricing options or be willing to work out a payment plan that fits your budget.
Save and Budget: Create a savings plan and budget to set aside money specifically for teeth whitening. Cut back on non-essential expenses, prioritize saving, and explore ways to increase your income. Even saving a small amount regularly can help you reach your goal over time.
Consider DIY Methods: Explore do-it-yourself (DIY) teeth whitening kits or homemade remedies. However, exercise caution and ensure you research safe and reputable methods. It's advisable to consult with your dentist before trying any DIY whitening methods to avoid any potential harm to your teeth or gums.
Remember, professional teeth whitening by a dentist typically provides the most effective and long-lasting results. If you are determined to have professional teeth whitening but cannot afford it immediately, it may be worth saving up or exploring financing options offered by dental clinics.
It's important to prioritize your oral health by maintaining good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings. While teeth whitening can enhance the appearance of your smile, it is not essential for your overall oral health.
How SuperBill helps you afford teeth whitening
If you do have out-of-network benefits, or you’re unsure if your insurance covers IVF, SuperBill may be able to help! SuperBill verifies your benefits, then files and tracks your out-of-network claims. We will update you on the status of your claim at every interval, and do everything we can to get it reimbursed. We even help with medical bill negotiation!
You can jump through all the hoops to make sure you get your IVF covered by insurance, OR you can let SuperBill for insurance handle it all for you. We have worked with countless patients to get them the reimbursement they deserve.