In the event that one of your teeth has been severely damaged, your dentist might recommend setting a crown in place. This will look just like a real tooth, so it’s a great solution when you need to restore the appearance and function of one of your chompers.
If you aren’t sure about whether or not this type of dental restoration is right for you, it’s wise to gather some information first. Why are crowns so popular, and how much does a crown cost? Check out our short guide below to learn more.
An Overview of What Dental Crowns Are
The part of your tooth that you can see above the gum line is the crown, so when that area of the tooth is damaged, your dentist can replace it with an artificial crown.
For example, if the tooth is cracked or chipped, if it has advanced decay that a filling can’t fix, or if you need a root canal, a crown can be used to make the tooth good as new by restoring its function and appearance.
Also, if you’re getting a dental implant to replace a lost tooth, a crown will be used to complete that procedure as well.
There are several types of dental crowns
When you decide to get a crown, your dentist will discuss the different types of crowns available. Based on your unique needs and preferences, and the location of the tooth that needs the crown, your dentist will guide you towards the best option.
Materials that are used to make crowns include:
- Porcelain or ceramic – This material helps the crown look natural, as it can be made to match the rest of your teeth.
- Porcelain fused to metal – This durable option may be more affordable than an all-porcelain crown, but might lead to a gray line along the gums.
- Metal or gold – Made of metals like copper, chromium, and nickel, this material is resistant to wear and tear, so it’s more likely to last a long time, but it might not be as aesthetically pleasing as you’d like because it won’t match the natural color of your teeth.
- Zirconia – This material gives you the look of a porcelain crown with the durability of metal.
What should you expect when getting a crown?
Generally, when you need a dental crown, your dentist will do the following, and you’ll likely need to book more than one appointment to complete the process in stages:
- Prepare the tooth by removing decay, and then removing the outer part of the tooth to make room for the crown.
- Take an impression so a crown can be made specifically for your mouth.
- Apply a temporary crown if the permanent crown will be made in a third-party lab (some dentists have the equipment to make it in-house).
- Place the permanent crown so that it looks and feels right.
Side note: Your dentist might need to build up the part of the tooth that remains so it will be able to support the crown, or you might need minor gum surgery to ensure the crown will fit properly and look natural.
How Much Does a Dental Crown Cost?
Now that you know the basics about what a dental crown is, and what its main benefits are, let’s take a look at the average cost of a crown.
How much does a crown cost without insurance?
When you don’t have a good dental insurance plan, you’ll be liable for the entire cost of your dental crown, along with all of the appointments and procedures that you’ll need before the crown is permanently set in place. This could cost you thousands.
Generally, the typical cost of a crown can be anywhere from $300 to $2,000 or more.
- As is the case with other dental procedures, the final price will depend on various factors, such as where you’re located, the dental professional you choose to use, and the material that the crown is made of.
- The extent of the damage that needs to be repaired before the crown is set into place, and the amount of preparation that your dentist needs to do to get your tooth ready for the crown, will play a role in how much your bill will be.
- Exams and X-rays can potentially add hundreds to your bill.
- The type of tooth that needs a crown might also affect the price. For example, the average cost of a crown on a molar will likely be different from that of a front tooth crown.
Average tooth crown cost, based on the material used:
- A porcelain or zirconia crown can cost $800 to $3,000.
- A porcelain fused to metal crown can cost $500 to $1,500.
- A gold or metal crown can cost $600 to $2,500.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Crowns?
Yes, many dental plans will help cover the cost of crowns, particularly when they’re necessary for medical, rather than merely aesthetic, purposes.
Plus, insurance can also help cover the cost of exams, X-rays, and related procedures, such as root canals, thereby helping you save even more money!
How much does a crown cost with insurance?
How much money can you potentially save with dental insurance when you need a crown? Well, many plans will consider crowns a major procedure, so they’ll cover half of the cost. This means you might be able to save thousands! Here’s an example: if you opt for a porcelain crown that costs $2,000, you’d save $1,000.Just as there are various factors that play a role in dental crown cost, there will be several factors that determine how much money you can save when you have insurance.
- Even if you can get some level of coverage for out-of-network dentists, you’ll likely save the most money by sticking with a provider who is in-network.
- Dental insurance plans come with annual maximums, and if you’ve hit that max, you’ll be responsible for the balance.
- Although high-quality crowns can last for many years, if you need to have a crown replaced, there might be a limit on how often you can get a replacement crown (example: once every 5 years). So, if you require a replacement crown sooner, you’ll need to pay for it yourself.
Pro tip: When shopping for dental insurance that will cover crowns, carefully read through the fine print to see if there are any exclusions. For example, are there limits when it comes to coverage for pre-existing conditions, or are there scenarios in which a crown won’t be covered even if you need one for medical reasons?
The Good News: Crowns Are Covered by Dental Insurance!
Dental crowns are hugely popular when it comes to tooth restoration options, but the average cost of a dental crown is high, so it might be out of reach if you have to pay for it all out-of-pocket.
Fortunately, there are dental insurance providers that offer coverage for crowns, so even after you factor in the cost of your monthly premium and other out-of-pocket fees (copay, coinsurance, and deductible), you’ll be able to save a lot of money when you need this type of restorative treatment.
There’s a wide range of dental plans to suit your needs, so shopping for the right one can become overwhelming. To make the process simple, and to quickly find the perfect plan, start browsing the Direct Benefits Marketplace.