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What cosmetic dental treatments are covered by private health insurance?

Understanding private health fund coverage is a complex process and often not easy. At the White Bite, our patients often want to know what part of our services can be claimed through private health cover. For this reason, we answered some of the commonly asked questions about private health funds and cosmetic dental treatments.

In general, The White Bite has HICAPS for on the spot health fund claims. We are preferred provider for HCF, medibank private and the nib first choice network. It also includes policy holders of Apia health insurance, Qantas Assure health insurance, and other health insurance brands underwritten by nib.

This means, patients with cover from these health funds get a fixed discount to help lower their out of pocket costs.

Does my private health fund cover cosmetic dental treatments?

Most cosmetic dental treatment fall under the “major dental” category for private health funds. This covers complex procedures like crowns, veneers, dental implants, and root canal treatments.

Procedures such as teeth whitening vary from fund to fund.

Are porcelain veneers covered?

Yes, porcelain veneers are covered by most private health funds. In general, they fall under the “major dental” category.

How much does my health fund pay of the White Bite smile makeover packages?

Each health fund pays a different rebate amount, depending on their rules for each level of cover. For an approximate rebate amount, ask your health fund what the maximum rebate amount for your “major dental” category is.

At the practice, once you have been assessed, you will be provided with an itemised treatment plan. You can give this plan and the item numbers to your health fund. They will then be able to provide you with a precise, detailed quote.

Are composite veneers covered?

Yes, like porcelain veneers, composite veneers are covered by private health insurance. They fall under the “major dental” category of your dental extras cover.

Does my health fund pay for dental crowns?

Dental crowns also fall under the “major dental” category on your private health fund insurance. Please ask your health fund or check your policy to find out what the maximum rebate amount for your major dental category is.

Are dental implants and dental implant crowns covered?

Yes, dental implants and dental implant crowns fall under the “major dental” category on your private health fund insurance.

man listening to music laughing with white teeth

Does my health fund cover teeth whitening?

Each health fund has their own rules regarding teeth whitening. It is best to check with your health fund to check your level of cover. At the White Bite, we offer Philips Zoom In-Chair whitening for $495.

Is Invisalign and SmileStyler covered by my private health fund cover?

Please check if orthodontics is included in your private health fund extras cover. If so, Invisalign and SmileStyler fall under the “orthodontic” category of your private health fund insurance.

The rules around orthodontic coverage are different to other dental categories. For this reason, it is important to check with your health fund prior to starting treatment.

Do you offer payment plans to help with the gap payment?

The White Bite offers zip payment plans for all patients. Zip offers two plans – one for payments below $1,000 (Zip Pay) and one for above $1,000 (Zip Money). Patients can conveniently apply online and will then be notified within a short timeframe if they were accepted.

If you have any further questions about private health fund coverage, please don’t hesitate to contact us or call our friendly team on 07 5579 9333.

 

Treatment options to improve teeth

There are several cosmetic treatments available that are designed to improve the appearance of teeth. This includes veneers, crowns, dental implants, bridges and orthodontics.

During the first consultation with your cosmetic dentist, they will help you choose the right treatment option for your case.

To give you a clear overall understanding, we have outlined each cosmetic treatment and its suitability below.

Veneers

What is a veneer?

A veneer is a wafer thin, tooth shaped material that is cemented to the outside of a tooth. It covers the tooth underneath completely, as an acrylic nail would cover a natural nail.

Veneers are made from two different types of material – porcelain or composite. They can also be made in any shape or colour depending on your needs.

Moreover, veneers can be designed to blend in with your surrounding teeth or used to create that bright white ‘Hollywood’ smile.

The main attraction for veneers is a patient can have their preferred smile within 5 business days.

Porcelain Veneers Composite Veneers Male Smiling

Who are veneers suitable for?

Veneers may be a suitable solution for individuals who have discoloured, crooked, widely spaced or worn-down teeth.

What is the treatment process?

Before veneers can be placed, preparing (drilling) of the front and sides of the tooth will be required to make room for the veneer. Then, impressions of your teeth will be taken and sent off to our partner lab.

At the lab, your veneers will be fabricated and polished. During this time, you will be given temporary veneers.

Once your veneers are fabricated, they will be cemented to your natural teeth.

How long do veneers last?

Porcelain veneers can last on average between 10 to 17 years. Composite veneers, on the other hand, are made from composite and last around 5 years.

Good oral health, and regular dental check-ups can help to prolong the longevity of veneers.

Dental Crowns

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown covers the entire 360° surface of a tooth and is placed on the tooth like a cap.

Dental Crowns Couple Smiling White Teeth

Who are dental crowns suitable for?

When the strength, shape or appearance of a tooth needs to be restored, a dental crown will be placed. Patients usually require dental crowns when tooth decay is severe, or the tooth has been worn down.

Alternatively, if a tooth has had a recent root canal, a dental crown will be placed to protect the tooth from further damage.

Lastly, a dental crown might be used to support a bridge for a missing tooth.

What is the treatment process?

Firstly, the front, side and back of the tooth is prepared (drilled) to make room for the dental crown. Impressions of your teeth are then taken with our 3d scanner and sent off to a lab to be fabricated.

During this time, you will be given a temporary crown. Once the crown is ready, it will be securely cemented in place.

How long do dental crowns last?

On average, dental crowns last around 15 years. With a good oral hygiene routine and regular dental check-ups, your crown could last much longer.

Dental Implants

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth that has a metal screw base which is placed into the jaw bone. Implants can replace a missing tooth or help to support surrounding teeth and maintain facial structure.

Dental Implants Smile Mirror Happy Patient

Who are dental implants suitable for?

Dental implants are suitable for patients who have one or more missing teeth. Patients must also have appropriate bone tissue, be free of periodontal disease and be a non-smoker (during healing process).

What is the treatment process?

First, a hole or osteotomy is prepared where the implant is to be placed. From here, the implant base is carefully inserted into the jaw bone and the area is stitched closed.

After 2 to 6 months of healing, an impression can be made to fabricate a tooth. Once completed, the tooth is supported on top of the implant base.

How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants last for a very long time, upwards of 25 years. They are considered a permanent solution and only need replacing if they become loose, infected or damaged.

Dental Bridge

What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge uses one or more teeth as a support to cover a missing tooth. If many teeth are missing, the support component of the bridge becomes an implant instead.

Dental Bridge Treatment Model

Who are dental bridges suitable for?

Dental bridges are suitable for individuals who have one or several missing teeth in the same arch.

There are several types of dental bridges available to suit a variety of needs. To learn more about the different types of bridges review our dental bridge page.

Orthodontics

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics involves one of several treatment methods to straighten teeth. This includes dental orthopaedic appliances, braces, or clear aligner systems like Invisalign.

Orthodontics Invisalign Teeth Straightening

Who is orthodontics suitable for?

Orthodontics is suitable for patients who have crooked teeth, crossbites or crowded teeth. Depending on the patient’s dental development age and the condition of their teeth, the dentist will determine if orthodontics is viable. From here, the most suitable system for your case will be chosen.

Not everyone is suited for orthodontic treatment. Consult with your dentist to determine if treatment is right for you.

What is the treatment process?

Dental orthopaedic appliances: Are designed for children to widen the upper jaw and correct their bite. The appliance will be custom-made for each patient, and our cosmetic dentists will discuss how to properly expand the plate over time.

Braces: Are cemented onto the teeth and a wire is then threaded through the brackets. Periodically this wire will be replaced with a new (usually stronger) wire. This process will continue until the teeth are straight and your orthodontist is happy with the results.

Invisalign: An impression of your teeth will be made by your dentist and sent away. From here, you will receive a set of clear aligners. Each set will be worn for two weeks and replaced by the next set.

How long do orthodontics last?

The duration of each treatment, and how long the results last will depend on each case. You should ask your dentist how long treatment might last for your individual situation.

Dental Treatments at The White Bite

Talk to us today to discuss your treatment options and how we can help to improve your teeth. Please contact our friendly team today and get started on your smile journey!

How to look after your veneers

Looking after your veneers correctly can extend the life of your porcelain or composite veneers. On average porcelain veneers can last 10 to 17 years and composite veneers can last around 5 years. However, with care your veneers can last for a much longer period.

To help extend the life of your veneers and their appearance, read our tips for looking after veneers below.

Maintain good oral hygiene

Maintaining a good oral hygiene such as brushing twice a day and flossing once daily can help extend the longevity of your veneers. You should care for your veneers as you would your natural teeth.

It is important to note that veneers do not stop the build-up of decay on teeth. For this reason, it is important to maintain a high standard of oral health.

As well, aggressive brushing and insufficient dental care can lead to gum recession. This is where the gums start receding around your teeth, and the junction between the veneer and your tooth will become visible.

The more recession, the more visible the junction becomes. If those areas become unsightly you may need to replace your veneers.

A good indication of hard brushing is how quickly your toothbrush becomes worn. If you are finding within a month or two of using a new toothbrush it is worn, you are most likely brushing too hard. Try using a soft toothbrush or holding your toothbrush with your fingertips.

Attend 6 monthly check-up and cleans

Check-up and cleans can help to remove build-up plaque that your toothbrush can not remove alone. If plaque is left to build up, your veneers might need to be removed to access the area.

You should also ask your dentist to check your veneers to see if they are still secured or if there are any visible signs of vulnerability.

Seeing the dentist frequently can help detect diseases, abnormalities and early signs of decay. Further, attending regular check-up and cleans is not only important for your health, it also keeps your treatment warranty valid.

Check-up Clean Veneers Dentist

Don’t chew hard foods

Anything that can chip or crack your tooth can also chip or crack your veneer. Direct pressure with hard foods on the end of a veneer may cause it damage.

For this reason, we recommend avoiding biting directly into hard foods (e.g. ice, raw carrots, corn and nuts). Instead chop them up into small bite sized pieces. If damaged, a veneer will need to be replaced.

This also goes for chewing hard objects. If you have a habit of chewing on pens, pencils or opening bottles with teeth, this can be harmful to your veneers.

Avoid teeth grinding (Bruxism)

When we become stressed, have an abnormal bite or even a sleeping disorder we might grind our teeth together. We recommend to our patients (especially those with porcelain veneers) to have a nightguard made to help protect teeth during sleep.

Teeth grinding or clenching at night in some cases may cause damage to veneers.

Avoid staining foods

Porcelain veneers are stain-resistant, however, over time certain foods and drink can tarnish their pearly white appearance.

The worst offenders for staining veneers are coffee, tea, wine and cigarettes. If you are not ready to give up your favourite drink, try drinking out of a straw as this can limit stains on teeth.

Coffee Drink Straw Limit Staining

Limit alcohol consumption

Large quantities of alcohol can soften the bonding cement that attaches the veneer to the tooth. This leaves the bonding agent prone to damage, erosion and stains.

This is not to say the veneer will fall off, it simply makes it more susceptible to outside forces.

Alcohol can also be found in toothpaste and mouthwash. So, check the label and make sure your tooth cleaning products are alcohol-free.

Veneer treatment

There is no doubt that porcelain or composite veneers are a great way to improve the appearance of teeth. Although, veneers are not built to last forever, and at some point, you will need to replace your veneers.

Using these tips, you can extend the life of your veneers to delay replacement for as long as possible.

If you are interested in our veneer treatments, please contact us today.