As prices continue to rise in dentistry, a common question posed is how much will dental crowns cost moving forward through the 2020s. We will tackle this question along with many more throughout this article.
When it comes to receiving a dental crown, many might be overwhelmed with the thought of having to undergo the procedure. However, it is one of the most popular types of dental procedures that are performed today. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot of curiosity, and it’s something that many find themselves questioning when their dentist recommends it.
Some of the questions that come to the top of mind include:
· What are dental crowns used for?
· What are crowns made of?
· How much do dental crowns cost?
· What is the procedure like?
· What can be expected in terms of recovery?
These are the questions that we have found to be the most common among dental patients that might be considering getting crowns. During this guide, we’ll be answering them as well as providing you with a deeper look into what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure.
What exactly are dental crowns?
Dental crowns (which are classified as a fixed prosthetic device) are simply a form of artificial teeth that fit over an existing tooth or implants. They can also be used with a bridge to help where there might be gaps and/or more than one tooth that is missing.
This type of dental option involves cementing the crown onto the existing tooth that could be damaged or cracked. A lot of the time they will extend all the way to the gumline (right above it to be exact), but their intended purpose is to replace the crown of the tooth which is how they got their name.
Every crown is custom to ensure that it has a proper fit encasing the tooth that it sits on. There are many different types of dental crowns as there is a wide variety of materials used to make them, which will be covered later on in our dental guide.
Why would someone need dental crowns?
There is a wide range of situations where one might need to get a crown from their dentist. Over the years, it has become quite evident that some seem to be more common than others. With that said, below you will find the most common situations where dental crowns are used for patients.
· After a root canal is performed when restoration is necessary.
· Covering an implant that may no longer serve its desired purpose.
· Improve functionality by providing a better bite alignment.
· Making teeth stronger that have been affected by a cavity or tooth decay.
· Replacing a large filling that has become weak or fell out.
· To embrace a more beautiful smile and eliminate cosmetic flaws.
· When severe tooth decay or a large cavity is present.
The Different Types of Crowns
· All-Ceramic Crowns
This is the most popular type of dental crowns, and as the name states they’re made completely of porcelain. Known for its extremely close resemblance to actual teeth, it also eliminates the need for metal that it can bond to.
As time evolves, so do the ways that ceramic crowns. While they are durable in their applications (mainly to help with the restoration of front teeth), they’re not intended for molars or pre-molars as high usage could limit their lifespan. One more advantage of all-ceramic crowns is that they can be shaded to match the color of your other teeth.
· Gold Dental Crowns
This type of crown tends to be more durable than others, and it’s a great option for those who might have the habit of clenching or grinding their teeth. The lifespan tends to be longer as well since they don’t wear as much when chewing.
It’s composed of chromium, copper, nickel, and other metals. The main drawback is that the gold doesn’t tend to be a primary choice for front teeth since it doesn’t blend in as well. The cost of gold crowns has steadily increased over the past few decades, as the price of Gold itself has steadily risen. These are now typically the most expensive crowns you can purchase at your local dentist.
· Porcelain Fused to Metal
Unlike dental crowns made entirely up as porcelain, a minimal amount of tooth must be removed during the procedure if you opt for porcelain fused to metal. The durability of these types of crowns are extremely good, but it’s often used as a temporary solution.
The reason for this is that as time goes on, the gums will recede and could expose the metal that’s holding the crown in. For gaps, this is also often a great option as it strengthens the overall structure of the mouth. To top it off, this particular type of dental crown tends to be resistant against erosion which is why dentists might use it if poor dental hygiene is present.
These crowns are also the least expensive of the major crown types mentioned. A lot of dentist often call them “economical dental crowns.”
Regardless of what type of dental crown you choose to go with, you’ll want to make sure that you choose a reputable dentist. This will ensure that the crown is made in a manner that ensures the highest quality possible. After all, the beauty of your smile depends on the level of care that was embraced while it was being made.
What is the cost of getting dental crowns?
The simple answer is that you can expect to pay $1,000 to $3,500 or more to get dental crowns. The price depends upon the type of crown that you choose, the experience of your dentist, and whether the crown will need to be made in a third-party laboratory among other things.
If the dental crown can be made in-house by your dentist, you can expect it to be a little bit more affordable than if it must come from somewhere else. Other factors that determine how much you will pay include what kind of dental work you may need to be prepared for your new crown(s).
Finally, whether you have insurance or not will determine how much you must come out of pocket which we’ll cover in the next section.
Will insurance cover dental crowns?
This will depend upon the type of insurance you have, and your particular situation. If your insurance company has an annual maximum, you might be required to come out of pocket for more than your deductible if you’re in need of crowns.
Most insurance companies will provide those that they insure with routine and preventive services such as x-rays, cleanings, etc. The normal requirement for a crown is that you have a damaged or weak tooth that creates the need to undergo a dental crown procedure. If it’s strictly for cosmetic reasons, you will most likely not be covered by your insurance company.
The best way to find out how much your insurance will cover is to consult with your dentist beforehand so that you can get an estimate on costs associated with the procedure before making a commitment of any kind.
What kind of other financing is available for crowns?
This depends upon what kind of financing your dentist may have available. A lot of the time, they’ll work with a third-party lender in order to provide their patients with access to the dental care that they need, when they need it.
Requirements for third-party financing depends on the lender, but you can usually expect to have a solid work history and decent credit score for qualification. As far as how you pay for the services that you received, it will usually be broken down into monthly payments that suit your budget.
What to Expect from the Procedure
During the initial visit for dental crowns, your dentist will numb the area with anesthetic to make the procedure as comfortable for you as possible. Your dentist will then use a dental drill to remove the outer layer of the tooth on all sides to provide a clean surface for the crown to be applied.
If the crown is not made in the office, they’ll then either use a digital scanner or make an impression to send out to the third-party laboratory so that they can make the crown. In most cases it will take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to have your crown back from the laboratory.
The tooth shouldn’t remain uncovered for a long period of your time, your dentist will create a temporary crown. This will prevent the tooth from becoming damaged while maintaining the exact impression that was originally used so when your permanent crown comes in there will be no problems.
The Recovery Process
Generally, you will need to brush your teeth twice per day and use dental floss (avoid pulling on the crown as this could loosen it). This will help prevent any buildup of plaque on the gum line where the crown sits as well as the crown itself. You may be required to use a specially designed toothbrush, so this is something you’ll want to discuss with your dentist.
Aside from your normal dental hygiene, you will also want to avoid chewing hard or sticky foods with your newly installed crown. Night-time mouth guards are used if you have a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth while asleep.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Crowns
How long do dental crowns last?
It has been seen for crowns to last for up to 30 years, but this is when they’re taken care of very well. In most cases, they have shown a lifespan for up to 15 years. Simply put, they’re designed to provide you with a long-term solution, but not a permanent one.
Is it painful to have a crown put on a tooth?
After the procedure, patients have been known to have sore gums or sensitivity when it comes to their newly installed crown. This is a part of your mouth trying to adjust to the change and it’s only temporary.
Can crowns get cavities?
It can be more likely for a crown to get a cavity than it is for a regular tooth. When a cavity occurs, the dentist will usually replace it to prevent it from spiraling into an even bigger (and more painful) situation.
What are the alternatives to dental crowns?
If you don’t want to go with dental crowns, porcelain inlays and fillings could be an alternative solution. Keep in mind that while porcelain inlays are safer it is much more difficult to find a dentist that provides them. As far as fillings, they are more economical, but it should only be used as something to get you by until you get a crown.
Why do dentists do crowns instead of fillings?
Fillings are meant only as a temporary solution because they don’t reinforce the tooth’s structure or strengthen teeth like dental crowns. They also carry a much shorter lifespan altogether.
Is a crown cheaper than an implant?
The simple answer is yes, crowns are much more affordable than dental implants. Unlike dental implants, the process is much quicker while implants could require several visits to an oral surgeon as well as pricier procedures.
How much of a tooth is needed for a crown?
Around ¼ of the tooth is needed to install a crown, but in certain cases a bridge can be used if your dentist deems that it’s the more ideal approach.
Can I brush my teeth if my crown fell off?
Yes, it’s advised that you do so in order to prevent further tooth decay that could make you unable to have your dental crown replaced. Also, make sure to keep the crown itself clean until your dental visit by brushing it with your toothbrush carefully.
What do I do if my dental crown falls off?
First, you’ll want to notify your dentist immediately so that you can get on their schedule to have the situation looked at by a professional. You will also want to try to avoid sticky foods on the side of your mouth that your crown fell off. The safest approach is to stick to soft foods and liquids while the crown is out of your mouth.
Can crowns cause health problems?
While everyone is different, the most problems caused by dental crowns occur when it hasn’t been properly installed. This is one of the oldest methods of tooth repair, and it can have minimal effect on your overall health as long as you choose an experienced dentist.
Are dental crowns painful?
The most pain occurs after the procedure, but there are cases where damaged crowns could also lead to tooth pain or sensitivity. However, an undamaged crown doesn’t usually have any long-term pain that’s associated with it.
Can crowns last a lifetime?
Crowns are meant to last a long time, but the odds are that they probably won’t last you for your entire life. The range of time that crowns can last for is between 15 and 30 years but this does depend on how well-maintained the crown(s) is.
Can flossing loosen a dental crown?
If you thread the floss through at the gum line, you should be safe. Most damages that have been caused to a dental crown by flossing is due to the person pulling upwards with the floss and causing unnecessary friction on the crown itself.
How long after a crown is cemented can I eat?
Hard or sticky foods should only be consumed no sooner than a few hours after the procedure, but other types of foods and drinks can usually be consumed after about an hour.
Should a dental crown go all the way to the gum line?
While the idea is for the gum to grow around the base of the crown, there are instances where there is space between the gumline and crown over time. If this is the case, you might consult with your dentist to see what solutions are available.