Insurance & Finances


How Does Dental Insurance Work With Orthodontics?

Insurance has become a fairly common, though not necessary, part of dental care. Orthodontics is a bit different from standard dental treatment and so it treated differently. This often for two reasons: 

1) Orthodontics is usually considered by insurance companies to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. While that is the ideal situation, it's not the case for everyone. This may be because a child may need early treatment before regular treatment, an adult may need surgery, or teeth will move and retreatment will be necessary.  Teeth will move your entire life, but insurance may not recognize that.

2) Despite it's benefits, most insurance companies consider orthodontics as elective or cosmetic. Often, an inability to chew is considered the standard for whether orthodontics will be covered. Sadly, this isn't a reasonable standard--even toothless patients needing dentures may be able to function "well enough" to survive, but is that a great standard of care?

Dental insurance is not as common for orthodontic treatment, but is still available for many.  Let's look at some important policies you may need to ask your insurance company.

What Questions Should You Ask When Shopping for Dental Insurance for Orthodontics?

This will depend on your individual situation, so be sure to check whether a particular point applies to you. This is not comprehensive, as insurance is always changing, but this will give you a BIG advantage compared to shopping blind. Ask your benefits administrator, HR department, or the sales department of the insurance company these questions: