I want some all porcelain crowns, and I’d like to find a dentist who is in my Met Life preferred provider dental insurance.
— Regina in New York
I think you’re asking for an impossible combination. I don’t know of any expert cosmetic dentists who are members of these restricted preferred provider insurance networks, and I’ll explain why.
When an insurance company uses the term, “preferred provider,” you have to understand that “preferred” to the insurance company really means “cheap.” Dentists are solicited frequently by insurance companies who want them to become part of some preferred provider network or other. Their approach is to tell the dentist that they can help fill the dentist’s empty dental chair in return for the dentist economizing in order to meet the insurance company’s discounted fee schedule. I will tell you that dentists that work hard to create beautiful smiles CANNOT economize on materials, laboratories, staff salaries, or techniques and still maintain those standards. Secondly, expert cosmetic dentists have to spend a great deal of time away from the office traveling to courses where they can learn cosmetic dentistry, and they feel like they need to charge a little extra in order to make that investment worth their while. Furthermore, these excellent dentists are usually not interested in the insurance company’s deal because they’re not suffering from a lack of busy-ness.
So you’re going to have to make a choice–do you want to have a dentist who is in your insurance network and who is just going to FIX your tooth in the most economical way available, or do you want something beautiful in your mouth? If you want the beautiful crown or any other beautiful dental work, you’re going to need to go outside your insurance network. I really don’t think you can have it both ways.
I hope this is helpful.
— Dr. Hall