I’m scheduled for an appointment next month to get a new dental bridge with three porcelain crowns. The dental office gave me a list of everything I’ll have done, and three porcelain upgrades are on the list. What does that mean? I’ve looked online, but I can’t find the answer. I’m concerned about the cost, too, because my dental insurance is only paying 30% of the sedation cost for the procedure. If I don’t need a porcelain upgrade and the expense that comes with it, I want to know it before my appointment. Thank you. Adrianne
A porcelain upgrade isn’t standard dental terminology. It seems that your dentist is providing an extra service related to your dental bridge.
Some possibilities are listed below.
- The dentist is using a more expensive type of porcelain in your bridge.
- If the bridge is in the front of your mouth, the fee could be for the premium esthetic treatment of the bridge. It takes more work to get a porcelain crown on front teeth to look beautiful and natural and perfectly match the surrounding teeth.
- The charge might be related to an upgrade on the metal framework for the bridge.
- If the bridge framework is high-strength ceramic instead of metal, there is an additional charge for the upgrade.
- If your dental insurance limits the fee your dentist can charge for your dental bridge, the “porcelain upgrade” might be a way to work around the fee limit and get more money from the insurance company.
As you’ve noticed, we’ve mentioned five possibilities. But the only way to be sure is to call your dentist’s office and ask about the upgrade. An “upgrade” implies that it’s optional. It’s best to ask before your appointment to determine if the upgrade is a treatment you’ve agreed to or if you want the standard service.
David Finley, DDS, of Monroe, LA, sponsors this post.