This opinion will be unpublished and
                  may not be cited except as provided by
               Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1994).

                          State of Minnesota
                            in Court of Appeals
                              C7-95-2610

     Michael Charles Deziel, as father and natural guardian

of Michael William Deziel,

     Respondent,
     vs.

Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association,
     Appellant.
     Filed May 14, 1996
Reversed
Amundson, Judge

Dakota County District Court

File No. C39415420

James A. Heuer, Jr., Heuer & Vandelist, P.A., 10 South Fifth Street, Suite
480, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for Respondent)

Andrew J. Voss, Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly, 1700 First Bank Building, St.
Paul, MN 55101 (for Appellant)

Considered and decided by Norton, Presiding Judge, Peterson, Judge, and
Amundson, Judge.
                                     
                        Unpublished Opinion

AMUNDSON, Judge (Hon. Thomas R. Lacy, District Court Trial Judge)

Appellant Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association (the MCHA) challenges
the district court's grant of summary judgment. The MCHA argues that the
removal of four healthy bicuspids (for the purpose of putting braces on)
and putting braces on respondent's son were not covered by the insurance
policy because: (1) they did not constitute ``reconstructive surgery''
within the meaning of the policy, and (2) the policy excludes from coverage
``[c]harges for physicians' services or X-ray examinations involving any of
the teeth * * *.''  We reverse.
                                     
                               Facts

Respondent Michael Charles Deziel is the father and guardian of Michael
William Deziel. On February 15, 1988, respondent's son was riding in a car
with his grandmother when her car collided with another car. He sustained
serious facial and head injuries and was taken to a hospital for treatment
(including surgery). In 1989, the MCHA issued an insurance policy to
respondent.

In January 1993, an orthodontist, Dr. James May, examined respondent's son.
Dr. May suggested that, as a result of the accident, respondent's son
needed braces. Before putting the braces on, Dr. May suggested removing
four healthy bicuspids because the son's jaw was crowded and removing the
teeth would allow the teeth to shift into realignment. An oral surgeon, Dr.
Bruce Templeton, removed the four bicuspids (Dr. Templeton operated on
respondent's son shortly after the accident to treat the numerous fractures
to the bones of the son's face). Dr. May put the braces on. The total bill
was $3,066 ($366 for extracting the teeth and $2,700 for putting the braces
on and an orthodontic therapy plan that included follow-up visits to
monitor progress). The MCHA refused to pay these expenses, claiming that
they were not ``covered expenses'' under the insurance policy. Respondent
brought a conciliation court action, but the court determined that the
costs were not covered under the MCHA policy. Respondent removed the case
to district court. The district court denied the MCHA's motion for summary
judgment and granted summary judgment in favor of respondent. The court
concluded that the treatments provided by Dr. Templeton and Dr. May were
``the type of reconstructive procedure[s] described in the insurance
contract.'' This appeal followed.
                                     
                              Decision


The MCHA argues that the district court erred in determining that the
removal of the four bicuspids and the orthodontic services were covered by
the policy. Insurance coverage is a question of law that this court reviews
de novo. See State Farm Ins. Cos. v. Seefeld, 481 N.W.2d 62,
64 (Minn. 1992).
``Reconstructive surgery''
The district court concluded that the removal of the bicuspids and
putting on the braces constituted ``reconstructive surgery'' and thus were
covered under the policy.

The policy lists as a covered expense:
        
        17. Services and articles for reconstructive
        surgery:
        
        a. When such service is incidental to or follows
        surgery resulting from any injury, illness, or
        disease of the involved part; or

b. To correct a functional defect resulting from a congenital illness,
injury, or malformation or premature birth; or

c. To correct congenital cleft palate and cleft lip for person up to age
18. * * *
        
        Payment for dental or orthodontic treatment not
        related to cleft palate and cleft lip is not covered
        by this provision.

The MCHA argues that Dr. Templeton's and Dr. May's services were not
``reconstructive surgery'' because the policy excludes ``dental or
orthodontic treatment not related to cleft palate and cleft lip'' from its
definition of ``reconstructive surgery.'' We agree. The services rendered
in this case were clearly dental or orthodontic -- the removal of teeth and
putting on braces. The treatment was not related to a cleft palate or cleft
lip. Thus, the services were not ``reconstructive surgery'' within the
meaning of the policy.
``Services * * * involving any of the teeth''
The MCHA argues that there is no coverage for Dr. May's and Dr.
Templeton's services because the policy does not cover services involving
any of the teeth.

Among the ``Charges Not Covered'' are
        
        f. Charges for physicians' services or X-ray
        examinations involving any of the teeth, their
        surrounding tissue or structure or the alveolar
        process of the gingival tissue, unless the charges
        are:
        
        (1) in connection with the treatment or removal of
        malignant tumors,

(2) for services provided under item 7 of Section B, Article II [oral
surgery],(1)
        [Footnote] (1)The policy covers oral surgery ``to
        remove or expose partially or completely unerupted
        impacted teeth, to remove a tooth root without
        extraction of the entire tooth including root canal,
        apicoectomy, apical curettage and removal of
        residual roots, or repair the gums and tissue of the
        mouth when not performed in connection with the
        extraction or repair of teeth.''

or
        

        (3) for services provided under item 13c of Section
        B, Article II [cleft palate or cleft lip].

The services provided in this case, removal of the four bicuspids and
putting on braces and other orthodontic services were clearly ``services *
* * involving any of the teeth.'' They do not come under any of the
provision's three exceptions. Thus, they are excluded from coverage under
this provision also.