Over time, your teeth can get damaged due to tooth decay, injuries, and wear and tear. One solution that dentists often use to fix these problems is a dental crown. In this blog, we’ll explain how dental crowns work, and how much a dental crown typically costs.
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What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a prosthetic cap that looks like a real tooth. It is placed over your actual tooth (“crowning” it) or is connected to a dental implant.
Here are some of the reasons why your dentist may use a dental crown:
- Fix a cavity that’s too large for a simple filling
- Cover badly stained or discolored teeth
- Reconfigure oddly shaped teeth
- Fix badly cracked, chipped, or broken teeth
- Reinforce and protect a newly fragile tooth after a root canal
- Fit over dental implant posts to permanently replace one or many missing teeth
- Create a stable foundation for dental bridges
How do dental crowns work?
A dental crown can be a temporary fix or a permanent one. A temporary crown is typically used when creating and installing a permanent crown or other dental restoration. Permanent crowns are cemented in place, are expected to last for many years, and are meant to be removed only by a dental professional.
Crowns can be made from porcelain, ceramic, gold, metal alloys, acrylics, and composite resins.
- Porcelain — These crowns are fused to an inner metal shell or zirconia and are favored for their strength and natural appearance.
- Ceramic — Ceramic crowns are not quite as strong as porcelain but are suitable for some treatment needs and more affordable than porcelain.
- Metal alloys — Palladium, nickel, or chromium base-metal alloys are generally stronger than porcelain or ceramics. They don’t always look as real as ceramic or porcelain crowns but are far more affordable, so they may be recommended for repairing or replacing back teeth.
- All-metal gold alloy — An all-metal gold alloy crown was once the traditional choice for durability and strength, but they don’t look like natural teeth and have been largely replaced by ceramic or porcelain.
Your dentist will recommend the best crown material, depending on where the crown will be placed, the reason for the crown, and the functionality required of the crowned tooth.
How much do dental crowns cost?
Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $3,500 for a dental crown. The cost depends on where you live, the procedure difficulty, and the type of crown you choose. For example, porcelain crowns tend to be more expensive than metal crowns. Additionally, if your troubled tooth is far back in your mouth, you may need a crown lengthening procedure to expose more of your natural tooth, which would add to the cost of treatment.
Dental insurance may cover around 50% of the total cost, after any deductibles or waiting periods are met, until you hit your annual cap, which is typically $1,000- $1,500 per year. That means a $3,500 crown could leave you with a $2,000 bill after insurance. And if the crown addresses a pre-existing condition, it may not be covered at all. If you recently purchased your dental insurance, you may need to wait for restorative care to be covered – usually around 6 months to a year.
Dental savings plans, a trusted alternative to traditional dental insurance, offers plan members deep discounts on a wide variety of dental treatments — including crowns — from a nationwide network of dentists and specialists. Plan members report an average savings of 50%* on their dental care.
Dental savings plans activate quickly (within 72 hours of purchase, and some plans offer emergency activation so you can use them right away). There are no annual limits on how much you can save. You can even save on procedures to treat longstanding dental problems.
DentalPlans.com, the largest marketplace for dental plans, has more than 25 plans from the most trusted brands in healthcare, accepted by over 70% of U.S. dentists. With over 20 years of experience helping customers save on their dental care, our customer support team can help you find the dental plan that best fits your needs. No hard sell – so don’t hesitate to call us at 1-833-735-0399 and tell us how we can assist you.
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*Discount Health Program consumer and provider surveys indicate average savings of 50%. Savings may vary by provider, location, and plan.