Also known as a “cap”, a crown is placed on top of a damaged tooth or to cover the gap of a missing tooth. This helps to maintain the functionality of the damaged tooth and protect it from more damage. One of the more common dental procedures, it is also fairly costly. The cost of crowns depends on several factors.
Factors Determining the Cost of Crowns
Many elements play a role in the final cost of a crown. First and foremost among these is the material of the dental crown.
- Stainless – usually a short term solution more suitable for pediatric care.
- Metal – may include palladium, gold alloy, nickel or chromium and are more suited for back molars, where the color difference is less noticeable. Well suited for chewing and last long. Average cost for these can range from $600-$2,500 per tooth.
- Porcelain with Metal Fusing – Suitable for front or back teeth. Appear similar to natural teeth, but they are more prone to chipping, and at times the metal underneath can be seen along the gum line. These may range in price from $500-$1,500 for a single tooth.
- All Ceramic – Provide better color match, good option for people allergic to metal but are not long-lasting and require greater skill and time to place compared to metal or porcelain fused. Price ranges from $800-$3,000 for a single tooth.
- All-Resin – Most economical choice, can be color-matched, however not very durable.
Other factors that affect the cost of crowns include:
- the part of the country in which you live
- experience of the dentist
- condition and size of original tooth and how much work is needed to repair
- position of the tooth in the mouth; molar crowns tend to be more costly than crowns on front teeth.
- any additional procedures that may be needed (root canal, bone rafts, x-rays etc. )
Having dental insurance reduces the amount you will have to pay out of pocket. Depending on the type of insurance, it may cover up to 50% of the cost, provided the crown is necessary for medical purposes. However, if it is purely cosmetic in nature then the crown may not be covered at all. A number of plans put a limit on the annual coverage as well.