Coverage for Gum Contouring

Patients can undergo gum contouring surgery to treat gums that “rest too low or too high on your [their] teeth,” affecting their appearance of their teeth (“Gum Contouring” 1, 2017). For instance, teeth could seem small due to low gums, and teeth could seem long due to high gums (“Gum Contouring” 1, 2017). Dentists and periodontists use “a specialized cutting tool or specialized laser” for the procedure in order to remove and reshape some of the gum (“Gum Contouring: 5 Facts You Need to Know” 2018; “Gum Contouring” 1-2, 2017). They may add gum tissue for areas that experienced gum recession, “a condition in which gum tissue pulls back from a tooth and exposes the tooth’s root” (“Gum Contouring” 1, 2017). This procedure could help patients end up with a better smile (“Gum Contouring” 1, 2017). However, the costs of gum contouring increase when more than one tooth require this treatment (“Laser Gum Contouring Cost” 2018). Unfortunately, dental insurance coverage for the procedure is rare, but people can look to other options to help them pay for the procedure.
People may receive dental coverage if they need gum contouring for medically necessary reasons. Dental insurance policies usually do not provide benefits for gum contouring because they classify this service as a cosmetic procedure (“What Insurance Will Cover For Cosmetic Dentistry” 2016). While dentists and periodontists provide the procedure to improve people’s smiles, they also provide the procedure “as part of a medically-necessary periodontal surgery due to infection or injury” (Lewis 2018). Particularly, gums that are too high could be caused by gum recession, which not only “can lead to serious dental problems such as decay and tooth loss,” but also may be “a sign of periodontal disease, the deterioration of the supporting structures of the teeth (gums and bone)” (“Gum Contouring” 1, 2017). With this condition, patients may receive some coverage for gum contouring because the procedure is medically necessary “to remove tissue compromised by gum disease…” (“Laser Gum Contouring Cost” 2018).
Since dental insurance do not usually cover gum contouring for cosmetic reasons, people that want the procedure for those reasons can look to other financial options. For instance, they could get a discount plan that allows them to pay reduced prices for the procedure at practices that accept the plan (“What Insurance Will Cover For Cosmetic Dentistry” 2016). Dental practices may allow patients to pay for the procedure over time or “[pay] the full amount in cash” in order to receive a discount (“Gum Contouring Cost”). Patients could also find decreased costs for gum contouring performed “by supervised students or faculty” at dental school clinics (“Gum Contouring Cost”).
Gum contouring can improve people’s smiles and resolve any dental health issues. Dentists and periodontists should help patients establish the medical necessity of the procedure so that patients could receive some dental coverage. Alternatively, patients could opt for other financial options that could help them pay for gum contouring.
Works Cited

“Gum Contouring: 5 Facts You Need to Know.” Golsen Family Dentistry, July 1, 2018.  
“Gum Contouring Cost.” costhelper health. Accessed May 2, 2019.
“Gum Contouring.” WebMD, July 31, 2017.
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“Laser Gum Contouring Cost.” DocShop. Last modified May 3, 2018.
Lewis, Guy M. “Does Dental Insurance Cover Cosmetic Dentistry.” Texas Center for Cosmetic
Dentistry, May 25, 2018.
“What Insurance Will Cover For Cosmetic Dentistry.” Riverside Dental Care, August 31, 2016.


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