How Much Do Dental Crowns Actually Cost?

We’re all familiar with the fact that no matter how necessary, dental procedures can be quite expensive. Especially when we’re talking about dental crowns, prices can vary depending on so many different factors, that we are going to cover here.

What is a dental crown and do you need one?

Basically, a dental crown is used as a cap to cover a tooth – restoring it’s shape and improving it’s appearance. Without it, the tooth would lose it’s natural form and would be much more prone to decaying over time.

The crown is needed in many different cases, and what’s important to note is that there is nothing wrong with crowning your teeth. If done correctly and with right materials – you won’t even be able to notice the difference between regular teeth and crown encased teeth.

A dental crown is needed in following situations:

  1. To restore a tooth that suffered any kind of damage to it;
  2. To protect a healthy tooth from decay;
  3. To hold parts of a broken tooth together;
  4. To maintain a dental bridge in one place;
  5. To close a dental implant if needed or
  6. To make a cosmetic modification, and others.

The process of getting a crown usually takes two dentist visits, the first one being the one where the tooth is prepared for the application, and also the one where you might get a temporary one to protect your tooth until the real thing is ready – which is why you need to come again the second time.

How much do they actually cost?

There is so much information online about the cost of the dental crowns and that makes it really hard for a patient do make the right choice, based on factual information.

The ballpark is somewhere in between $500 and $3000, and depends on many different factors, as we already mentioned. Some of those factors are whether or not does the patient have the insurance, the material the crown is made of and the typical rate of a specific dental office.

Let’s go over the materials the crowns are most often made of first, since they are the ones dictating the prices. You can usually choose between three different types:

  1. Porcelain fused to metal, costing approximately $650 with, and about $1100 without the insurance;
  2. Metal, costing about $900 with, and $1400 without the insurance and
  3. Porcelain, leading with a $1000 with and stunning $1600 without the insurance.

There are a few other materials that can be used, such as stainless steel that is often used for children as a temporary solution and all-resin that is nowadays used very rarely because of it’s quality. As you can see, not having the insurance will put you in the higher paying bracket and getting a crown can cost you quite a lot more, especially if you’re considering porcelain made crowns.

How to make the right decision?

Now that you know the average rate, you can do some comparison by visiting a few practices nearby and asking for their price range, but take in consideration some other facts.

The dental prices can, and will, often vary, which can also depend on a location of the practice for example, whereas high profile locations pay higher rent and often have to charge more because of that. More often than not, they also have a higher demand because of their location, which can affect their pricing as well.

Should you base your decision only on the price range?

Absolutely not. Of course, it should count as a very important factor, but saving a $100 by choosing a lesser quality practice is just not worth it. No matter the price, your dentist should take pride in their work and give you the best possible care, regardless of how much you’re paying and whether you have an insurance.

Based on experience, it’s always the best idea to pay a visit to the practice before you actually schedule an appointment. Ask yourself these questions and they will help you decide if that is the right place for you:

  1. Do you feel comfortable with their business and the dentist of choice specifically? If not, trust your gut and walk away from there.
  2. Does the dentist give you treatment recommendations based on your needs or on their price range? A good dentist will never propose a treatment that is not needed, just to cash in a few more bucks. Always ask him what the consequences would be if you don’t follow through with his recommendations, and if the answer is not pleasing – this is a clear sign that this is not the right dentist for you. For example, if he recommends teeth whitening, and that is not something you care about and it’s something you consider a waste of money, simply don’t do it just because it’s what he thinks is the right thing to do.
  3. Does he give you options or does he make the decision for you instead? A good dentist should give you options and alternatives for fixing your problem, even if it’s unlikely for you to choose them, just to keep you well informed. A good sign is him asking for your feedback and showing that he cares for your opinion, that matters as much as his expertise. 

Crown care

Since there are a lot of uncontrollable factors in this equation, there are in fact a few things that you can do to take better care of your teeth and prevent the falling out of the crowns, such as avoiding sticky foods (such as chewing gum or caramel), that have a tendency of pulling them out. Chewing hard food, like nuts and vegetables can also damage the crowns, so be careful with that and you also might want to consider paying more attention to that and chewing dangerous foods with the other side of your mouth – just to avoid going to the dentist again and also to save yourself a few bucks along the way.