A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth. It works as a shield and helps restore shape, size, strength and improve your teeth’s appearance.
Crowns have long been a solution to restore the look and function of a damaged tooth.
Whenever a patient is suggested to have a dental crown, there are many questions they have regarding the procedure.
Some common questions that patients have are:
- What is a dental crown?
- How much will a dental crown cost?
- Why is a dental crown important to the health of my teeth?
Consulting with your dentist can help you find a type of crown that matches both your dental needs and your budget. Having knowledge about the cost of dental crowns will ensure you get the best service for your money.
Though we will not be able to provide exact figures without a thorough dental examination, we will attempt to give general ranges and answer common questions about the cost of dental crowns.
7 Factors That Determine the Cost of Dental Crowns
There are lots of things that determine the cost of dental crowns. The type of dental crowns you use, or your tooth structure, can greatly impact the overall dental crown cost.
Some of the most common factors are listed below:
1. Level of Damage
The severity of damage is the top factor that determines the cost of your dental crown. The higher the level of damage, the higher the cost of a crown.
For example, if you require a crown after a root canal or you are choosing a dental crown procedure to replace a missing tooth, the cost will be higher because your doctor will likely recommend a dental implant.
2. Crown Manufacturing
Most dental offices are equipped with crown manufacturing units. Matching the texture and shade of your teeth is a difficult process. The shape, size, color, and material used in crown manufacturing also determine the cost of dental crowns.
In most cases, a patient doesn’t need sedation while installing a dental crown but patients who have a dental phobia might need it. If you choose to be sedated just now that it will be an extra charge.
4. Number of Crowns Needed
The more crowns you require, the higher the cost of dental crowns. A single crown could cost you between $500 to $3,000. If you need two crowns the cost will be between $1,000 to $6,000 and so on.
5. Experience of a Dentist
The dentist that you opt for also greatly influences the cost. Choosing a specialist dentist will cost you a little more compared to a general dentist.
6. Location of a Dental Clinic
Practices in a prime location, like city centers, can charge you more simply because their rent costs are higher.
7. Combining Crowns with Other Treatments
Most of the time, dental crowns are recommended after a restorative procedure. If you only need the crown, it won’t be expensive. However, if you’re receiving a crown after gum disease treatment, dental implants, or joint therapy, the total cost of your rehabilitation will be higher.
What is the Cost for a Dental Crown When Going to an In-Network vs. Out-of-Network Dentist?
First of all, let’s understand what in-network and out-of-network dentists are.
In-network dentists are those dentists who have contracted with the insurance company, whereas out-of-network dentists are those dentists who don’t have contracts with the insurance company.
If you opt for an in-network dentist, you get a discount, and a 50% cost will be covered by your insurance. On the other hand, if you opt for an out-of-network dentist, you don’t get a discount but you’re liable for 30% – 50% cost taken care of by your insurance.
It’s wise to get a list of dental offices that are contracted with your insurance company before you make a decision. It is important to consider where to have your dental procedures done based off more than just cost. If you like your dentist, have good reviews, or come highly recommended, it might be worth paying for that added peace of mind.
Dental insurance may cover all or part of the cost of your crown. However, your plan may only cover certain kinds of crowns.
Always check with your insurance company to get the specific detail of your coverage.
The Breakdown of Costs for Different Crown Types
In general, the cost could range from $800 to $1,500 or even more depending on the material used and the size of the tooth.
- Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns (PFM)
PFM is one of the oldest types of crowns that has been used for over 35 years. Though they are not as popular as they used to be, they are still in use. PFM crowns look like natural teeth and are strong, durable, and they have a very high success rate in the long run.
The cost of a PFM crown could cost anywhere from $1,000 and $1,500. If you opt for porcelain fused-to-titanium alloys or gold alloys, it could cost more than metal alloy.
Zirconia crowns are made from zirconium dioxide, a very durable type of metal crown that’s related to titanium, although it’s categorized as a type of ceramic crown.
In general, a zirconia dental crown can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500.
Please note, your geographic location and insurance company can affect. But it’s definitely worth consulting your insurance company to find out if they cover a zirconia crown.
Gold has been used in dentistry for over 4,000 years, making it the oldest material used in the industry. A gold crown could set you back quite a bit more, perhaps between $600-$2,500 for a single tooth.
These crowns rarely chip or break. They don’t wear down easily and require minimal tooth removal to be applied. These crowns are very durable and can last for decades.
Among all the dental crowns, all-porcelain crowns are the most common. It’s naturally aesthetic and metal-free composition matches your neighboring teeth in size, shape, and color.
The cost could range anywhere from $800-$3,000 for a single tooth.
- E-Max: Lithium Disilicate Crowns
The E-max crown is an all-ceramic system that is milled from a single block of lithium disilicate. This type of crown is extremely durable and mainly used for restoring teeth in the anterior (front) region. E- Max dental crowns cost around $1,100 to $1,600 per tooth.
Same-day CEREC crowns are also known as a single sitting or one-day crowns because they can be crafted in about 2 hours. Compared to E-Max and Zirconia, CEREC crowns are less expensive. The price could range anywhere from $1000 to $1500.
All-resin crowns, also known as composite resin, are one of the cheapest dental crowns available. Though resin crowns look like natural teeth, they are not as durable as other crowns. They could undergo wear and tear with time and are vulnerable to fractures. All-resin dental crowns cost around $300.
- Partial Dental Crowns: Inlays & Onlays
Partial dental crowns only cover some surface of the tooth. Partial crowns are further categorized based on the coverage of the tooth:
- Three-Quarter Crown
- Reverse 3/4th Crown
- Seven-Eighth Crown
- One-Half Crown
- Conservative Crowns
Partial metal (stainless steel) and metal-ceramic partial (stainless steel with ceramic) crowns are comparatively less expensive than porcelain or ceramic partial crowns. Ceramic inlays and onlays could cost between $800 to $1500 and metal inlays and onlays cost around $700 to $1200.
- Pediatric (Children’s) Dental Crowns
Similar to other types of crowns, pediatric dental crown cost is also greatly dependent on the material used, the tooth being fixed and of course the provider. The average cost of one pediatric dental crown ranges between $300 to $500.
Stainless Steel Crowns (SSCs) are only used to restore primary (baby) teeth. And the price could range between $300 to $500 per tooth.
Paying For Dental Crowns with and Without Insurance
There are lots of ways by which you can drastically reduce your dental crown cost. It doesn’t always have to be the insurance company that is doing the paying. Many organizations offer discounted or free dental procedures including dental crowns.
1. Insurance Friendly Dentist – One of the best ways to cut down on dental crown cost is to get in with insurance-friendly dentists such as in-network dentists. Dental crowns are usually covered by insurance companies because these are necessary for maintaining good oral health such as fixing cracked or weak teeth.
2. Government Programs – Each year, the government runs different programs including dental health programs. You can take advantage of such programs. Take some time to research and see if there are any upcoming government programs on dental health. Who knows, you might even get free treatment.
3. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) – FSA is a set amount of pretax money that is taken out of your salary and set aside to be spent purely on healthcare costs. FSA funds don’t roll over to next year, so make a wise decision by investing it in your dental crown cost by the end of the year.
4. Health Savings Accounts (HSA) – Health savings accounts, or HSA, has a similar feature to FSA. The only difference is HSA funds roll over to next year, but you need to have a high-deductible insurance.
5. Dental Schools – Dental schools are one of the best places where you can get dental crowns and dental treatment at a cheaper rate. Every 3 to 6 months dental school runs programs that offer low-cost dental treatments. Do a little digging and see if there are any programs going on or coming up in a month or two around your area.
6. In-House Payment Plans – If you don’t have an insurance plan, in-house payment plans can be one of the best options for you. Most dentists offer monthly payment plans so you won’t have to pay for the treatment all at once.
FAQs About Dental Crown Cost