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When are treatments considered “elective”?


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An elective dental procedure is one that you choose to have completed, even if you don’t need it for health purposes. For example, if your teeth are free of decay or disease, but you don’t like the way they look, having them enhanced would be an elective procedure.

Dental insurance usually does not cover elective types of dental procedures such as cosmetic dentistry. Some common examples would include cosmetic veneers or teeth whitening.

There will, of course, always be exceptions to the rule. Perhaps you have a type of irregularity on a front tooth that needs to be repaired, but a dental crown will be too aggressive to the rest of the tooth structure. A veneer or cosmetic bonding would be less invasive and serve as a restorative-type procedure. Your dentist will likely have to submit case notes, photographs, and X-rays to the dental insurance company to convince them to pay for the treatment.