I have four crowns on my front teeth and would like to see a metal-free dentist to have them fixed. I thought they were failing when they were turning gray along my gums. However, when I started researching it, I learned that it was actually the metal showing through. Do you have any idea if my dental insurance will cover it?
-Kayla in California
The research you have done sounds correct. The gray line that is starting to show occurs after your gums recede over time. Unfortunately, this can happen with porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and is why many cosmetic dentists will choose all-porcelain crowns for front teeth. Your crowns will need to be redone.
A metal-free dentist would be a good choice. But, for front teeth, you need to make sure that he or she is highly skilled in cosmetic dentistry too. Since your four front teeth show each time you smile, you want them to be done flawlessly. When an excellent cosmetic dentist does them, no one will be able to tell that you’ve had any work done. But, it cannot be stressed enough that not just any dentist does beautiful cosmetic dentistry. It requires extensive training beyond dental school, as well as a passion for beauty.
As far as dental insurance goes, it all comes down to the codes entered by the dentist. Therefore, a metal-free dentist will use a similar procedure code for a porcelain crown as a general dentist uses. Generally, most dental insurance companies cover about half of the cost of a dental crown. But, that is usually for the least-expensive option, which means the crown that is used for pricing, may still contain metal underneath. So, be prepared for that.
It would be wise to find the dentist that you want hopefully, one that practices metal-free dentistry, as well as cosmetic dentistry. Then, ask for a quote for the work you want done ahead of time. They should be able to provide a thorough estimate. The office can also submit a pre-authorization for the service to your insurance company directly. This will help you plan your actual fees.
Choosing a dentist is all about trust. So, don’t hesitate to have a consultation with multiple dentists to see which one is best for you. Also, since aesthetics will be important, ask to see cases similar to yours and check out their cosmetic dentistry credentials.
This post is sponsored by Petaluma dentist Rick Lane.