Dental crowns have long been a solution to restore the look and function of a damaged tooth. These tooth-shaped caps help restore your teeth and improve your smile. When your dentist suggests you need a dental crown, two questions may come up to your mind: What type of dental crown is best for me? And, what is the cost of it? Here is a brief guide to help you understand the different types of dental crowns and cost.
But First, When Do You Need a Crown?
Before looking into the different types of dental crowns and cost, how can you certainly know if you need a crown, or just a filling, an inlay or onlay?
Well, after a complete examination during your first office visit, your dentist will evaluate your particular case, and guide you on possible treatments. Generally, some of the most common causes of getting a dental crown are:
- A weakened tooth after severe decay or cavity
- To cover an implant or a large filling
- A natural damaged tooth that can no longer stand alone due to a crack or a root canal
- To align your bite
- For aesthetics purposes: to achieve a more beautiful smile by leveling the size, shape, and color of your teeth.
What Does Getting a Crown Involve?
In most cases, if you need a custom-made crown, be ready to visit your dentist a couple of times. It is not something a dentist can do in only one appointment, unless he or she owns a CEREC® or similar device, which allows patients to get the crown in one visit.
The process may be different for each type of dental crown, too. In general, getting a crown involves:
- The dentist will prepare your tooth, which can involve just the removal of decay, a root canal, or both.
- Your dentist needs to take a mold so that the crown fits your exact tooth.
- A temporary restoration is used to protect the tooth until the crown is ready. You should take special care of this temporary cap and avoid eating hard or sticky foods to prevent it from cracking.
- After about a week, your dentist will have the crown ready.
What Type of Dental Crown Should I Choose?
When you need a crown, you immediately start thinking about the types of dental crowns and cost. This is because today there are many different types of crowns that vary depending on materials, cost, procedures, and patients’ needs.
The main types of crowns used in dentistry include:
Gold crowns are in fact a combination of copper and other metals, such as nickel or chromium. The main advantage of gold crowns is their strength and durability. For back restorations -and depending on each patient’s needs- some dentists may suggest a gold crown as the preferred option. However, gold crowns don’t make a very popular choice today due to their color and aesthetics.
Main ADVANTAGES of gold crowns:
- They are strong and highly resistant
- They are long-lasting
- Less proportion of your natural tooth needs to be removed.
- They wear down quite slowly, just like the natural enamel.
- They are ideal for posterior restorations
Main DISADVANTAGES of gold crowns:
- Poor aesthetics: They obviously don’t look like a natural tooth
- Gold alloy crowns can affect some people and produce some side effects such as allergic reactions or swelling
All- Porcelain Crowns
This is definitely the most popular type of crown used nowadays. They are entirely made of porcelain, which gives them some clear ADVANTAGES:
- Porcelain crowns provide the best and most natural look. They match your surrounding teeth in shape, size, and color.
- The best option for front tooth restorations.
- They are biocompatible: that means no metal is used, so they are toxic-free.
However, the main DISADVANTAGES of porcelain crowns are:
- They are not as strong as metal crowns. Porcelain crowns can last long but they have to be well taken care of.
- They may be more costly than other types of crowns, such as metal crowns.
Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns (PFM)
Porcelain fused to metal crowns is another widely used type of dental crowns. They provide both strength (due to their metal structure) and aesthetics (due to the porcelain coat that covers the cap).
The main ADVANTAGES of PFM crowns are:
- They provide great aesthetics and durability
- They are less costly than all porcelain crowns
However, the DISADVANTAGES of PMFs include:
- The metal in these crowns may cause a grey line over the gumline. This may not give the 100% aesthetic look that all porcelain crowns provide.
- For people who clench their teeth, this type of crown may wear down more easily against the opposing teeth.
Zirconium is a relatively new material that combines the strength of metal with the aesthetics of porcelain crowns. High translucent zirconia and layered zirconia crowns have become a more popular choice lately.
The main ADVANTAGES of zirconia crowns are:
- They provide great aesthetics
- They are strong and long-lasting (less possibilities of chipping or breaking).
- The process can be less time consuming because zirconia can be cut and shaped at the same dental office. There’s no need to send them over to a dental lab.
- Zirconia Crowns are less likely to wear down due to their strength.
- They are biocompatible: as metal free crowns, they are not likely to cause allergic reactions.
The main DISADVANTAGES of Zirconia Crowns include:
- Their strength can make the teeth they bite against wear down easily.
- Solid Zirconia is can be difficult to adjust
What Is The Cost of Dental Crowns?
Now that you have an idea of the different options for dental crowns, you surely want to know the cost of the different types of crowns. Well, this will vary depending on the material used and the preparation required. For example, all porcelain crowns are in general more costly than metal ones. And some crowns that require a core build-up, can increase the overall cost of the procedure.
Generally, crowns can range in cost from $500 to $2000, or more.
According to an estimate made by Costhelper , the price range of dental crowns per tooth today can be as follows:
- The cost of Gold crowns can range between $600-$2,500
- All-porcelain crowns can range between $800-$3,000
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns can cost $500-$1,500
- Zirconia Crowns can cost approximately the same as all- porcelain crowns
If you have insurance, probably 50% of the crown can be covered. But everything will depend on the type of insurance you have, and your particular case. If the crown is part of a cosmetic treatment, your insurance plan will most likely not cover the cost of it. But if the treatment is preventative (to cover a root canal or repair a broken tooth) the cost can be covered by your insurance (or at least a percentage of it).
To be sure, set up an appointment with your dentist first. Check if your insurance company will cover your treatment and how much you will have to pay out-of-pocket.
So What Should I Consider When Getting a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a long-lasting restorative treatment. That means you will have a crown for many years in your mouth. Certainly, you want to have it done in the most professional and skillful way.
So, if possible, when considering types of dental crowns and cost, try not to go directly to the least expensive dentist without analyzing your options. Weigh in all factors before deciding. Maybe it’s better to spend a bit more and be sure the results will be good and long-lasting.
You should also check if your dentist works in-network or out-of-network. Even if some of the best dental offices work out of network, they will do their best to file all the claims for you so that you can get directly reimbursed to your home once the treatment is over. Sometimes going out-of-network of assigned providers can ensure better quality care and overall improved experience.
When you need to restore your tooth with a dental crown, the best option is to schedule an appointment with a trustworthy dentist. Choosing only cheap options may lead to poor quality treatments which, in turn, will mean more money, more time and more discomfort in the future.
If you want to get more information about dental crown types and cost, feel free to email or call Rohrer Dental Wellness Center at
Phone: (561) 404-7360