A lot of insurance companies aren’t willing to pay towards cosmetic dentistry because they don’t think it’s worth the cost. But this hasn’t stopped many patients from paying for cosmetic procedures out of pocket. It’s a pretty large business, and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. There’s even a specialization within dentistry that’s focused on what are typically labeled cosmetic procedures, prosthodontistry. But, is cosmetic dentistry worth the cost?
There are downsides to the American economic system, but having the freedom to make your own financial decisions is often really nice. And cosmetic dentistry gets a bad rap when it often helps people who have a legitimate concern with the appearance of their smile.
Cosmetic dentistry isn’t only about appearances
Not all cosmetic dentistry is concerned with superficial results. A crown may look like a tooth, but it also functions like a tooth, and that may be the most important part about it. Dental implants aren’t all looks either. They last longer than any other dental procedure, and they are the best option for the health of your jawbone. Though implants are considered a cosmetic procedure, neither of those benefits are very superficial.
Sometimes, the appearance of a thing reflects the actual nature of the thing. This was central to Steve Job’s product design philosophy at Apple—something he called intuiting. He wanted his products to look as beautiful as they were powerful and user-friendly, and he even wanted it to be beautiful all the way through—even if you have to take it entirely apart to see.
You’ll notice the same principle whenever you have a job interview. You really should put your best foot forward. You don’t show up in ripped jeans and a t-shirt even if this is what you wear at home. Appearances matter because they are often the first way that we judge a thing. Maybe all of us should be a little more patient before judging someone, but it will be a long time before everyone is as patient as they should be.
Everybody says not to judge a book by its cover, but if you study book sales, I doubt you would have to look too hard before realizing that everyone judges a book by its cover.
What about when cosmetic dentistry is about appearance?
In some ways, this may not be the most compassionate way to look at it. People aren’t immune to caring about how they look. It could simply be self-respect that makes us want to look our best.
We aren’t saying that every single procedure is worth what a person is willing to pay for it, but often gaps or crooked front teeth prey on a person’s self-confidence. Can they try to just grin and bear it? That’s easy to say if you’re comfortable with your smile. And if someone has the ability to fix what they don’t like, why wouldn’t they?
Talk to us
If you’re considering a cosmetic procedure for a dental problem you’ve had for years, come in and talk with us. The solution may be cheaper than you thought, or we may tell you that your smile is already better than you think it is.
We think that these type of value questions are best talked over across a table with a real person. You can find articles online saying all cosmetic dentistry is bad, and you can find others that justify every single procedure, but we think the question of what you should do with your money ultimately belongs to you, and we think it’s worth having a sit-down conversation if you’ve taken the trouble to type “is cosmetic dentistry worth the cost?” into google.
We never charge new or prospective patients to begin the conversation. Dr. Stone has been in the field for 40 years now, and he would love to offer his expertise for whatever question or dental problem you’re facing. Schedule a free appointment today!