If you have a discolored, misshapen, or broken tooth, your dentist might have already recommended a dental crown as the best treatment solution. No doubt, crowns are useful dental discoveries that continually help many people achieve better dental health. They are typically used to restore a tooth’s size, shape, and appearance, cover root canals and strengthen weak teeth.
However, many people dread dental crowns because of their cost. It is not uncommon to part with thousands of dollars for a single tooth. However, there are cheaper and quality alternatives as well. Here, we will discuss the issue of cost with regards to dental crowns and cost-cutting options.
What is a dental crown?
Also known as a cap, a dental crown is simply a cover for your teeth. More specifically, it is a tooth-shaped shell cemented on a damaged tooth. Made from metal, porcelain, or a combination of the two, a dental crown is used to cover a broken tooth or an implant. If you are missing a tooth or have a damaged one, a dentist will cement a crown on the space where the tooth was located.
Factors Affecting the Cost of a Dental Crown
Crowns are used to achieve different purposes ranging from covering broken bones, impacts, and discolored teeth to protecting damaged teeth. The actual cost of a crown is dependent on the material used, insurance, the condition and location of the tooth, lab fees, fittings, X-rays, and exams. Dental insurance typically covers 50% of the cost of having a crown for medical reasons. Otherwise, most are considered cosmetic and cannot be covered.
Now that you know the factors affecting the cost of a metal crown, here are some typical costs.
- Metal crowns combine gold, copper, and other metals such as chromium and nickel. They are strong and durable compared to other alternatives. Most dentists suggest metal crowns for back restorations. Metal crowns cost anything from $600 to $2,500 per tooth on average.
- Porcelain crowns are popular because they offer a more natural look than metal crowns. However, they break easily and need to be replaced often. These will set you back $800 – $3,000 per tooth.
- Porcelain/metal crowns bond ceramic to the metal base. They are strong but the outer ceramic base is still at risk of breaking. People prefer these crowns because they give the best of both worlds. Their cost varies between $875 and $3,000 per tooth.
How to Cut Down the Cost
If you are working with a tight budget, you may not have an easy time paying for your dental crown. However, one of the cost-effective options is to get services from a dental school near you. In a dental school, a supervised dentistry student will perform the treatment. These cost a fraction of the cost of dental practices.
Another option is to ask your dentist for discounts and promotional rates. Some dentists offer affordable rates or sliding scale arrangements for patients on a tight budget.
The actual cost of a dental crown depends on several factors with the major one being the crown material. The best part is that even if you are on a budget, you can still get your teeth done.