Is Dental Bonding Covered by Insurance? Your Questions Answered

Is dental bonding covered by insurance

Dental bonding can greatly improve the look of your smile by fixing chipped, cracked, discolored, or misshapen teeth. But like most cosmetic dental procedures, dental bonding often comes with a hefty price tag, leaving many wondering: is dental bonding covered by insurance?

The short answer is – it depends. Most dental insurance plans classify bonding as a cosmetic procedure and do not provide coverage. However, exceptions may be made in certain medical circumstances. Keep reading to learn more about how dental bonding works, what factors affect insurance coverage, and tips for keeping costs manageable.

Is Dental Bonding Covered by Insurance? Your Questions Answered!

How Much Is Dental Bonding?

On average, dental bonding costs between $300-$600 per tooth when performed for cosmetic reasons. However, prices can range anywhere from $100 to over $1000 per tooth, depending on several factors:

  • Number of teeth being bonded – treating multiple teeth costs more than a single tooth
  • Location in the mouth – front teeth are easier to access and, therefore, cheaper to bond than back teeth.
  • The extent of bonding – small chips are quicker to bond vs. reshaping an entire tooth
  • Dentist’s experience and fees – more experienced dentists often charge higher prices
  • Additional procedures – costs add up if anesthesia or tooth contouring is needed
  • Geographic location – bonding costs more in areas with higher cost of living.

For simple chips or discoloration of one front tooth, you may pay around $100-$300. But for more complex treatments like closing gaps or reshaping multiple teeth, expect to pay $600 or more.

Is Dental Bonding Covered by Insurance?

The majority of dental insurance plans classify dental bonding as a cosmetic procedure and provide little to no coverage. However, exceptions are sometimes made if bonding is medically necessary.

Here are a few examples of when insurance may pay for dental bonding:

  • Repairing damage from injury – Insurance will often cover bonding to restore structure and function if you chip or crack a tooth in an accident. This applies to sports injuries, falls, car accidents, etc.
  • Fill cavities – While composite resin fillings are technically a type of bonding, insurance will cover them like a traditional silver filling.
  • Congenital defects – Bonding teeth affected by genetics, like spacing issues or enamel problems, may be covered.
  • Major tooth decay – Severe decay that requires bonding to save the tooth.
  • Root exposure – Gum recession that exposes vulnerable tooth roots to temperature sensitivity. Bonding can protect the roots.

Always verify coverage directly with your insurance provider. Submit a pre-treatment estimate from your dentist to confirm what percentage, if any, they will cover. Don’t assume your plan includes bonding without checking first.

Does Dental Bonding Cover The Whole Tooth?

Dental bonding can treat small spots like chips or cracks or cover larger areas like full teeth. Using a special dental tool, the dentist applies bonding material and “sculpts” it into the desired shape. A curing light hardens the material so it adheres permanently to the tooth.

Here are some examples of larger tooth areas that can be treated with dental bonding:

  • Reshaping teeth – Bonding material can be molded over misshapen or asymmetrical teeth to even out their appearance.
  • Closing gaps – Gaps or spaces between teeth can be filled in with bonding material for a more uniform smile.
  • Lengthening teeth – Shortened or worn down teeth can be built up with bonding material to restore their original length.
  • Whitening teeth – Thick layers of dental bonding can fully cover discolored or stained teeth. The material is matched to your natural tooth shade.
  • Replacing old fillings – Composite bonding is an alternative to unsightly silver amalgam fillings. It matches the color of your teeth.

In more severe cases, veneers or crowns may be needed instead of bonding to cover the entire visible surface of the tooth. Your dentist will advise you on the best options for your desired results.

Tips for Affording Dental Bonding

While rarely covered for cosmetic reasons, there are ways to reduce the costs of dental bonding:

Shop Around

Costs vary between dentists, so get quotes from a few different providers. Search for offices running new patient specials or discounts.

Seek a Dental School

Dental students perform procedures under instructor supervision at reduced prices. Quality is high under guidance.

Dental Savings Plans

These discount plans give access to the dental bonding procedure at set low fees, which could save 20-60% off regular costs.

Payment Plans

Many dental offices offer no-interest or low-interest monthly payment plans to make bonding more budget-friendly.

Dental Credit Cards

Cards like CareCredit offer deferred interest financing for 6-12 months, so you have time to pay it off.

Groupon Deals

Check Groupon and social media for occasional dental bonding coupons in your area. These can yield significant savings.

Andy’s Story: Fixing a Broken Smile on a Budget

Is Dental Bonding Covered by Insurance? Your Questions Answered!
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Andy had lived with a chipped front tooth for years. One day while eating something crunchy, the jagged edge finally broke off completely, leaving him with an unsightly gap right in front of his smile.

He desperately wanted to get it fixed with dental bonding immediately, but money was tight. His dental insurance wouldn’t cover bonding for cosmetic reasons. After some research, Andy found a dental school 30 minutes away that performed bonding procedures for half the usual cost. He also joined a dental savings plan for $120 a year, giving him access to set fees 20-40% below average costs.

Andy paid $175 to have his chipped tooth bonded in total compared to the $400-$550 most regular dentists quoted him. He financed it over 6 months with a healthcare credit card at 0% interest. In just one afternoon, his smile was restored beautifully!

While costly, dental bonding gave Andy the attractive, confidence-boosting smile he had been missing for years. With persistence and creativity, you may also find ways to afford dental bonding and transform your own smile!

Read more:Does Lice Clinics of America Take Insurance?

Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Bonding and Insurance Coverage

How much does dental bonding cost with insurance?

With insurance, you’ll typically pay a deductible of $50-$150 plus 20-50% of the remaining cost of dental bonding. So for a $500 procedure, your out-of-pocket cost maybe $150-$300 with insurance.

Does my dental insurance cover composite fillings?

Yes, composite fillings made of dental bonding material are covered by insurance, just like silver amalgam fillings. Any tooth-colored composite fillings to treat decay should be covered.

Can I get reimbursement for dental bonding?

You may get partial reimbursement from insurance if the dental bonding was medically necessary, like repairing injury damage or decay. Cosmetic bonding likely won’t get reimbursed.

Is it worth paying out of pocket for dental bonding?

For many, yes – paying $300-$600 to fix an unsightly chip or gap in their teeth gives a significant confidence and appearance boost that makes the cost worthwhile.

Does NHS cover dental bonding?

The NHS only covers dental bonding for medical reasons, not cosmetic. You would need private dental insurance for potential coverage of cosmetic bonding.

Does dental bonding last as long as veneers?

Not quite – dental bonding typically lasts 5-10 years before needing to be repaired or replaced, while veneers can last 10-30 years with proper care.

Improve Your Smile With Dental Bonding

While costs for dental bonding can add up, the boost it provides to your smile’s appearance and your self-esteem is often priceless. With some savvy shopping and financing, dental bonding can be made more budget-friendly. Be sure to thoroughly check your insurance policy and ask your dentist about any discounts to maximize your dental benefits.

Don’t hesitate to ask if you have additional questions about dental bonding costs or insurance coverage. We’re happy to explain your options in detail so you can make the best decision about improving your smile!

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