Do you have damaged teeth due to injury, decay, or wear? Your dentist may recommend a dental crown, but as you know, this dental restorative procedure can be expensive even when you’re covered with insurance.
Here, you’ll learn how much a dental crown costs with or without insurance, how you can lower your out-of-pocket expenses, and what are the alternatives to dental crowns.
How Much Does A Dental Crown Cost (with & without Insurance)?
Without insurance, the cost of a dental crown may range from $500 to $3,000 per tooth.
Other factors may affect the cost, including the type of dental crown and the additional procedures needed to complete the treatment.
For instance, porcelain crowns are more expensive than metal ones. They cost between $800 and $3,000 per tooth while metal crowns range from $650 to $1,300 per tooth.
The cost of undergoing gingivectomy ranges from $200 to $400 per tooth while a root canal may range from $600 to $1,400 depending on the teeth that need the procedure.
Partial Versus Full Crown
A full dental crown is the most common form of a dental crown. As its name suggests, a full dental crown covers the entire tooth that’s being restored.
It’s designed to mimic the natural size and shape of natural teeth to promote the restoration of the tooth’s function, health, and strength.
Meanwhile, a partial crown covers only the part of the tooth that’s damaged. It’s the recommended option if capping the entire tooth isn’t necessary.
Inlays fit in between the cusps on the top portion of the teeth while onlays fit over the teeth.
The cost of a full crown ranges from $500 to $2,000 or more while a partial crown costs between $300 and $1,000, depending on the material used for the onlay.
How much does insurance cover for a dental crown?
You’ll cover the entire cost of the dental crown if you have no insurance or if the procedure is part of a cosmetic treatment.
If the dental crown, however, is part of a preventative measure, such as repairing a broken tooth or covering a root canal, then part of the cost will be covered by your insurance provider.
If you have an insurance plan, 50% of the cost of the dental crown will be covered. However, it’ll still depend on your situation and what type of insurance you have.
In-network vs out-of-network dentists
The cost of getting a dental crown also varies if you go to an in-network or an out-of-network dentist. In-network tends to be cheaper, but in both cases, you’ll get 50% coverage on your dental crown procedure.
For instance, since insurers cover 50% of the cost, you’ll pay $500 for a $1,000 dental crown that you get from an in-network dentist.
In-network, dentists work with insurance companies and must follow a fee schedule.
On the other hand, an out-of-network dentist charges more for the same treatment.
For instance, a $1,000 dental crown from an in-network dentist may cost $1,300 in an out-of-network counterpart. That means you’ll pay 50% of the price amounting to $650, which is $150 more than what you’ll pay for if you get the procedure from an in-network dentist.
But remember, you shouldn’t just base any of your healthcare decisions on the price. A dentist with good reviews, friendly staff, excellent bedside manner, top-of-the-range materials, and quality services may be worth paying more for added peace of mind.
What Are The Costs According To The Crown Type?
The cost of a dental crown varies based on the type you want to use.
1. Gold Crown
A gold crown costs between $600 and $2,500. It’s a mix of copper and other metals, such as chromium or nickel.
It’s popular for its durability and strength and ideal for back restorations, particularly the second molar.
However, some people are put off by its poor aesthetics while others have experienced swelling and allergic reactions.
A porcelain crown costs between $800 and $3,000 per tooth. It’s made of porcelain material and is the most popular option these days.
It matches the color, size, and shape of your surrounding teeth, making it the ideal choice for front teeth restorations.
With proper care and maintenance, porcelain crowns can last for a long time. They’re costlier than other types of crowns but they offer the best and most natural look.
3. Porcelain Fused To Metal
Porcelain fused to metal (PFT) crowns cost from $500 to $1,500 per tooth. They’re also popular thanks to their strength and aesthetics.
PFT crowns offer the durability of metal crowns and the aesthetics of porcelain crowns but are not as expensive.
Provisional crowns cost between $450 and $700 per tooth. They’re temporary crowns that act as a placeholder for up to six months until the final crown is placed.
Your dentist may recommend that you get a provisional crown while your permanent crown is being made, which usually takes an average of 2 weeks.
It will help protect your natural tooth from decay or further damage. Most dentists don’t charge separately for a provisional crown. It’s usually included in the final price of your treatment.
5. Stainless Steel Crowns
Stainless steel crowns cost between $300 and $500 per tooth. They’re commonly used to restore primary teeth or when normal cavity fillings have failed.
Zirconia crowns are relatively new in the market and they cost between $800 and $3,000 per tooth. The high translucent and layered zirconia are popular choices thanks to their great aesthetics and durability.
The process needed to produce zirconia crowns is less time-consuming compared to other materials because they can be cut and shaped easily at the dental office without having to send them to the laboratory.
E-max crowns cost between $1,100 and $1,600 per tooth. They use light and thin material called lithium disilicate. They’re durable and have great aesthetics, which make them a perfect choice for both front and back restorations.
What Are The Factors That Determine The Cost of Getting A Dental Crown?
The cost of getting a dental crown varies on other factors, such as the following:
Getting a dental crown procedure from a practice in a prime location will cost you more than if you get it from a dentist from a distant location.
Diagnostics And Anesthetics
Your dentist will perform an examination and then a digital x-ray, which may range from $60 to $150. You should also include the cost of the anesthetic used for the procedure.
General anesthesia costs from $300 to $1,000, depending on the complexity of the dental procedure.
You can choose from different types of dental crowns. For instance, a porcelain crown costs more than a gold dental crown, as discussed above.
You can expect to pay more for an impacted tooth or if the procedure requires other dental procedures, such as tooth cleaning, restorations, or root treatment.
New Crown Or Replacement
You’ll save on the costs of additional treatment if you only need replacement crowns. The actual crown cost will be the same, but it’ll cost you less in terms of the preparation and other treatments required.
Unlike when you get a dental crown for the first time, you don’t have to pay for the removal of the damaged teeth, additional procedures like a root canal, or the preparation and creation of a mould for your dental crown.
Type and Experience Of Dentist
Periodontists specialize in dental crowns. You may go to a general dentist for a crown placement, but a periodontist is more capable of handling complex issues, which may come up when placing a crown.
You can expect to pay more if you go to a periodontist than a general dentist, but you’ll get more specialized treatment.
Aftercare expenses may include prescriptions, ice packs, and gauze, which may cost $15 to $25.
How Can You Get A Dental Crown For Cheaper?
While a dental crown is expensive, you can still lower the cost by taking extra steps. Here are some suggestions:
Choose In-Network Dentists
If you have insurance, choose an in-network dentist rather than an out-of-network dentist. An in-network dentist works with the insurance company and follows a certain cost range.
In contrast, an out-of-network dentist offers services and treatments that are more expensive.
Use your Medicare if your dental crown treatment is medically necessary, such as when it will help address oral diseases. Medicare Part A and Part B can cover a portion of the cost of the dental procedure.
Medicare doesn't cover routine dental care, such as root canals, fillings, cleanings, and extractions.
Flexible Spending Accounts
Use your Flexible spending accounts (FSA) to pay for your dental crown. FSA allows you to set aside a certain amount of pre-tax money from your salary and use it only for healthcare expenses.
Most employee benefits include FSA. However, the funds don’t roll over to the next year so you have to use it all up before the year ends.
Health Savings Account
Health savings accounts (HAS) is similar to FSA except that it’s regulated by the government. It can be used to cover healthcare costs that aren’t covered by your insurance.
Unlike FSA, HSAs roll over to the next year, but you’ll most likely require high-deductible insurance.
Look for dental schools that offer discounts on dental crowns because a student will perform the service. Don’t worry about the quality since a professional and board-certified dentist will oversee the procedure.
In-House Payment Plans
Look for dental offices that offer in-house payment plans, especially to those who can’t afford to pay the treatment at once and don’t have insurance coverage.
Why Are Dental Crowns So Expensive?
Aside from the materials used, the production of dental crowns requires advanced technology. They also require a lot of time and effort to prepare the crowns, all of which add up to their costs.
What Are The Alternatives To Dental Crowns?
If you don’t have the budget to get a dental crown now, there are other alternatives you may consider.
- Porcelain inlays and onlays. These can help preserve the natural structure of your teeth. Inlays are placed inside the tooth’s cusp and work like fillings, while onlays support the inner layer and outer part of your tooth.
- Porcelain veneers. These are also ideal for treating damaged front teeth. They’re aesthetically pleasing and match the color and feel of real teeth.
- Fillings. They can be used to fill the damaged area of your tooth.
- Tooth extraction. It’s a permanent way of getting rid of the need to get a crown.
Is Getting A Dental Crown Worth It?
Getting a dental crown is definitely worth the cost as it helps improve your dental health. It’s an effective dental treatment that restores your teeth that may have been damaged by decay or severely cracked or broken.
They’re durable and can last for several years with proper care. They improve the appearance of your teeth and smile, thereby helping boost your self-esteem and confidence.
Dental crowns are popular options if you have damaged teeth and want to restore their function and strength. They’re durable and aesthetically pleasing. You can choose from different options depending on the material.
Dental crowns are quite expensive, especially without insurance. The materials used, location, dentist’s expertise, and your insurance coverage, to name a few, affect the price you need to pay.