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How much do dental crowns cost? What influences the price?

Dental crowns are commonly used to cover up a root canal treatment, a missing filling, or a cracked tooth. Despite their popularity, this restoration is quite an expense: the average cost of a dental crown is $1,300. Apart from that, you will need to pay for some associated procedures.

Why are crowns so expensive? What should you take into consideration while getting a cover-up for your tooth? See our guide to dental crowns costs.

How much do dental crowns cost?

Two main factors that determine dental crown cost are the material of the restoration and the position of the tooth to cover up. Crowns on front teeth tend to be more expensive.

With materials, the situation is slightly more complicated. In the table below you can find an estimation of a cost range. Read on to get to know the pros and cons of each substance.

Dental crown type Average cost Cost range
Porcelain $1,300 $1,000-$2,500
Zirconia $1,300 $1,000-$2,500
PFM $1,100 $800-$2,400
All-metal $1,300 $900-$2,500
Provisional $450 $200-$700

Porcelain

Porcelain crowns are also called “all-ceramic”. They are frequently chosen due to their great aesthetics and realistic appearance. Porcelain is toxic-free and biocompatible, so you don’t have to worry about allergic reactions.

On the downside, all-ceramic crowns tend to wear down the tooth that they bite on. Also, despite being one of the most expensive types of crowns, it’s the least durable.

Zirconia

Zirconia crowns are growing more and more popular, as they combine the advantages of porcelain and metal. They are biocompatible, yet still very durable. What’s more, usually they can be done in one day, so a temporary crown is not necessary.

However, their durability comes with disadvantages. Zirconia crowns are hard to adjust, and may slightly damage the opposite tooth. Often, they need to be covered with porcelain to hide the distinctive color of zirconia.

Porcelain fused to metal (PFM)

In this type of crown, the porcelain top is mounted on a metal base. This combination is very resistant and one of the most affordable.

Though the upper part looks very realistic, you can sometimes see the grey metal part above the gumline. Preparation demands more tooth reduction than with other types. Making PFM crowns takes some time, so be prepared to wear temporary ones in the meantime.

All-metalProvisional

A temporary crown protects your living tooth while you waiting more than a day for a permanent crown to be made. Usually, you wear it for about two weeks, and definitely shouldn’t keep it in your mouth for more than a few months. The materials aren’t designed to last too long. Also, this crown isn’t permanently attached.

In most cases, the charge for a provisional crown is included in the overall price of the restoration.

Additional costs when getting dental crown

Paying just for a dental crown is not the only expense in the process. First, you will have a dental examination, when the specialist determines whether you are a good candidate for getting a crown, and help you consider different options.

But before walking out with your new restoration a few weeks later, you may need also:

  • X-ray,
  • core build-up,
  • diagnostic cast.

Dental X-ray

Before placing a crown in your mouth, it’s good to take a look at a full picture of the teeth, from root to the top. In this case, the most useful will be either a periapical or a bitewing X-ray. Luckily, this cost is usually included in the crown’s price.

Core build-up

When getting a crown on a normal-sized tooth, it normally has to be reducted, so the restoration could fit in. However, if the top structure is already worn down or lost for some reason, the opposite procedure is necessary – core build-up.

The dentist will add some resin materials to the remaining tooth to make it big enough to support the crown. This procedure costs between $200 and $500, typically about $300.

Diagnostic cast

A diagnostic cast is a model for a dental professional, to visualize how your teeth work together. This allows customizing your restoration even better. In order to do a study model, you will have to bite down on a depressor for a few minutes. A silicone mold will be taken to the lab and turn into a cast.

The cost of a diagnostic cast range from $50 to $300, $140 on average.

Are dental crowns covered by insurance?

The insurance providers usually cover up to 50% of the dental crown cost. However, the requirement is that the procedure must be medically necessary. For cosmetic treatment, you will pay fully out-of-pocket.

Sometimes the provider can reimburse part of the expense when a dental crown is considered preventative treatment. Also, they will likely cover the cost of a dental exam and X-rays, which are diagnostic procedures.

Additionally, you can sign up for a dental plan. It works similarly to a membership. Using the services of in-network dentists, you can save 10% to 60% on each visit. There are no yearly maximums, limits, or proving the necessity of treatment with tons of paperwork.

Affordable dental crowns near me

The price for the same type of crown can vary even for $1,500, depending on the localization and experience of the dentist. How to spot dental offices with reasonable prices but not be afraid of the quality of work?

Authority Dental can help. They will match you with the best dentists in your area, who won’t break your budget and accept your insurance or preferred form of payment. This service is completely free and available 24/7. Find out more on this page.

Questions & answers

Why do dental crowns cost so much?

The materials increase the prices the most since they have to meet strict requirements. They should be toxic-free, or even biocompatible, but at the same time durable enough to bear everyday pressure, clenching, and biting. It’s an investment: if properly made, dental crowns can last up to 20 years.

What is the cheapest crown for a tooth?

Although the average costs of different types of dental crowns look similar, it’s not so easy. All-metal crowns are the most affordable permanent restorations. They are strong and durable, but not so much aesthetically pleasing.

Provisional crowns may be cheaper, but they shouldn’t be worn for more than a couple of weeks.

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