How Much Does a Dental Crown Cost?
A dental crown is a restoration that will completely cap a tooth or an implant. This crown is necessary when a cavity threatens the entire tooth or if the tooth is affected by a crack, chip or some sort of cosmetic damage.
Using a form or dental cement, the cement is bonded to the actual tooth forming a “crown.” This crown is going to prevent the cavity from spreading and improve the strength of the tooth. The cost of a dental crown will depend on the dentist, the tooth, complexity of the situation and geographical location.
How much do crowns cost?
- A dentist is usually going to charge per tooth, and on average, the average dental crown cost is going to be anywhere from $750 to $2,200 per tooth without dental insurance by the time you factor in the exam, x-rays, materials and treatment. This will all depend on the materials being used and the dentist you choose. Common materials a dentist will use will include stainless steel, metal alloys, porcelain fused, a dental composite or an all-resin.
- A crown made from porcelain is going to cost anywhere from $750 to $2,800, while a gold crown can be significantly more due to the cost of the materials. Refer to our table below to see what most materials will cost. An open face gold crown can cost $600 to $1,200. The cost of a zirconium crown can be about $700 to $1,200.
- Those with dental insurance will have to speak with their local insurance company to see if the procedure is going to be covered. As long as it is deemed medically necessary, the procedure should be covered and you will only be responsible for the deductible and co-pay. With dental insurance, you will be expected to pay either partial or none of the payment, depending on your benefits policy. For example, one Delta Dental PPO only covers $1,500 per year. Animated-Teeth.com says it’s fairly common for a plan’s benefits to cover 50 percent of the crown’s fee, and if you want to receive full benefits, then you must meet the plan’s deductible.
- According to MedicineNet.com, the average cost for dental crowns can cost anywhere from $600 to as much as $2,000 per crown. As mentioned above, it should be covered by insurance, but for those that don’t have insurance, the geographical location can play a big role.
- A variety of dentists chimed in on this RealSelf.com forum thread and claimed the prices could range anywhere from $600 to more than $2,500, depending on the materials being used, the geographical location, dental lab being used and the dentist you use.
- AspenDental, for instance, states it charges $845 or more for a crown.
- WebMD says the average crown can cost $700 to $1,800 per tooth, depending on the type being selected and where you live.
|Type of Crown||Cost of Dental Crown Range|
|All Metal||$700 to $1,500|
|All-ceramic||$800 to $1,900|
|Gold||$700 to $1,500|
|Non-precious All-metal||$650 to $1,400|
|Porcelain-fused-to-metal||$800 to $1,700|
|Porcelain-fused-to-metal (non-precious)||$700 to $1,300|
NOTE: These are prices without any sort of insurance. Those who have insurance will have to pay a lot less.
Types of crowns available:
- Metals: These types of metals include a gold alloy or another base-metal alloy. With a metal crown, less tooth needs to be removed, and the benefits of one is they rarely break or chip away. The only drawback is the metallic color, often gold or metal in color, sticking out.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal: These are considered to be stronger than all-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns. These crowns will look a bit better than metal; however,t hey still won’t match your teeth’s natural color as there will be a metal line along the gum line.
- All-porcelain: This material will match the color of your teeth, making them very aesthetically pleasing. Because of the thickness, most dentists will have to remove more of the natural tooth to get a good fit along the gums.
- All-Resin: These types of crowns are less expensive out of most crowns. Over time, they will wear down and may have to be replaced again.
- Ceramic: Made from all-ceramic, this is the best choice to match any color teeth. Not as strong as porcelain, they don’t wear down as much, and this option is usually the best choice for those who need repairs done with their front teeth. They won’t be ideal for the back teeth due to the durability.
- Temporary/Stainless Steel: A temporary crown can be made directly in the dentist office. These crowns are usually made of a stainless steel and can be used as a temporary solution until the permanent crown comes along.
What is going to be included?
- With the initial visit, a dentist will take an x-ray to check the roots of the tooth and the teeth to check for any extensive decaying or any risks of infections. There are times when a root canal will have to be performed rather than a dental crown. Your regular dentist should be able to perform the procedure; however, there may come a time where he or she recommends you to a prosthodontist if the situation is too severe. A prosthodontist is a professional who has further training and is able to work with your crown in complex situations.
- Upon arriving at the dentist office the day of receiving your crown, the dentist will put you under a local anesthesia, and during the procedure, the dentist is going to prepare the tooth by wrapping a retraction cord around your tooth up to the gums while creating a mold to be prepped at a lab, either in-house or via a third party. This is done so that a temporary crown can be placed until a permanent one is created. This process should take no more than two to four hours.
- During your second visit, which is about three weeks later, the dentist will apply a permanent crown that was measured from the first visit; however, this won’t be the case if the dentist has in-office digital manufacturing equipment. If this were the case, you would be able to receive your crown on the same day of your appointment. The whole process should take about three weeks from start to finish if the dentist has to use an outside lab.
- This permanent crown will be applied using a special dental cement. Once the crowns are placed, they should last up to 15 years.
What are the extra costs?
- Additional dental visits may be necessary depending on the complexity of the job. Some dentists may require a few follow-up visits to make sure the crown is applying correctly. A job will no complex issues should take no more than two visits, while a complex crown can take up to four visits. These follow-up visits may be tied into the original price, but some dentist offices may continue to charge an examination fee.
- The first visit, which includes the cleaning and x-rays, may be an additional charge, usually about $200 to $300 extra.
- Sometimes, depending on the situation, crowns won’t be recommended. Instead, a dentist may recommend veneers, a bridge or dental implants.
- If an outside dental lab is used, additional lab fees may apply, depending on the materials. These fees can cost anywhere from $55 for a non-metal to as much as $175 for a precious metal crown.
- This procedure can be done with other treatments if recommended by the dentist. This may include bonding, a dental filling, implants, bridges, a root canal or even full mouth reconstruction.
When a dental crown is needed:
- If a tooth needs to be protected from breaking.
- Restoring a broken tooth.
- Covering a tooth that doesn’t have a lot of the tooth left.
- Holding a bridge in place.
- Covering a dental implant.
- Improving the appearance of a tooth.
Tips to know
- If you choosing a dentist and/or prosthodontist for the first time, be sure to ask the following questions before proceeding: How often do you place dental crowns? What kind of materials do you offer? How long does it take to receive my crown? If the crown isn’t done in-house, which lab do you use? Are you board certified? Docshop.com has an extensive list of questions you should ask your future dentist.
- If you have insurance, be sure to know what crowns are allowed on your plan and if a waiting period applies. Some plans state only certain material may be used and you must be on the plan for at least 12 months before coverage goes into effect. Also, some insurance companies will have age restrictions and will require reasons why the crown is needed. If it’s for cosmetic purposes, it won’t be covered.
- Problems can arise down the road such as discomfort or the crown may become chipped or even become loose.
- With aftercare, like your natural teeth, you will still have to brush your crown daily and floss around the crown, especially near the gum line to prevent bacteria from building up in the gums.
- What’s the difference between a filling vs a crown? With a crown, it will cap over and encase the tooth, whereas a filling will be embedded within it.
- If an older crown is being removed, make sure the dentist gives it back to you as you’re able to scrap it for a few extra dollars. If made of gold, it could be worth up to $60, depending on the market conditions.
- Does a dental crown hurt? A topical anesthetic will be applied to your gums, and as long as it’s done properly, you should feel very little pain or discomfort.
How can I save money?
- Check with local dental schools to see if you can have the procedure done there. While a student may perform the procedure, they will be under professional supervision and will cost significantly less.
- Most dentist offices have a payment plan that can be set up in order to help ease the payments over an annual period. Some offices may even recommend a reputable third-party finance company.
- If you do not have dental insurance, try to pay cash since many offices offer discounts to cash patients. Use websites such as eHealthInsurance.com to potentially find a dental insurance policy in your area.
- Since crowns are often used to restore a damaged tooth, your dental insurance plan should be able to cover the procedure.
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