My 13-year-old daughter was born with a lack of tooth enamel. After braces her smile is straight but the two main teeth have two different colors on them – they’re splotchy looking. Will my dental insurance pay for this? It’s Anthem Blue Cross
– Pam in California
When teeth are splotchy-looking right after getting braces off and they weren’t that way before, it’s probably because they weren’t really good about brushing their teeth while the braces were on. When you’re wearing braces, it’s a good idea to carry a toothbrush with you, because you need to get all that gunk off after each time you eat, or it will damage your enamel.
And since this is a situation that involves damaged tooth enamel, yes, your dental insurance is probably obligated to pay benefits. But there are a couple of cautions here.
First, your dental insurance is only obligated to pay for repairing the physical damage, and they will probably pay at a very minimal level. Don’t think of them as “covering” the repair, because that implies they will pay for the whole thing. Think of it as that they will “help” pay for the repair. You’ll want this done in a way that looks beautiful and natural. Your insurance is only committed to making the repair be functional.
Second, don’t let your family dentist do this. You want an expert cosmetic dentist. This may cost a little more, but the repair may involve free-hand tooth bonding or even porcelain veneers. You need a dentist-artist, and only 1 or 2 percent of dentists are artistic enough to produce a beautiful result with your front teeth.
– Dr. Hall