Restorative dentistry is an area of dentistry that is focused on restoring damaged or replacing missing teeth to improve oral health and function. Most dental insurance providers will cover restorative procedures, but not cosmetic procedures. This is because restorative procedures involve the functionality of teeth. At Rainier Ave Dental, one of our most popular restorative procedures is dental crowns.
In this article, we’ll explain more about the different kinds of dental crowns and their average costs.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a cap that is designed to fit on a tooth that has been significantly damaged to restore its size, shape, and appearance. A crown may also be used in conjunction with a dental implant to replace a missing tooth. There are several reasons that a crown may be recommended:
- Protect a weak tooth
- Cover a discolored or misshapen tooth
- Restore a broken or worn-down tooth
- For cosmetic improvements
- Cover/support a tooth with a large filling
- Hold together a cracked tooth
- Hold dental bridge in place
- As an artificial tooth with a dental implant
Types of Dental Crowns and Cost
There are several different types of dental crowns to choose from:
This type of crown is typically used on children’s primary teeth because it is prefabricated and doesn’t require as many visits to put in place. Since it is prefabricated, it is more cost-effective than a custom crown. When the primary tooth falls out to make room for the permanent tooth, the crown goes with it. The average cost of a stainless steel crown is $400 to $1,000 per tooth.
Metal crowns may be gold, platinum, or cobalt- or nickel-chromium alloy. A metal crown is strong enough to withstand biting/chewing forces, making it a good choice for molars. This type of crown rarely chips/breaks, meaning it has the longest life expectancy. The average cost of a metal crown is $600 to $2,500 per tooth.
PFM, or porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns can be matched to natural teeth. However, it is important to note that this type of crown causes more wear and tear on the opposing teeth and the porcelain may chip/break off. The average cost of a PFM crown is $500 to $1,500 per tooth.
Composite resin crowns are on the cheaper end of the spectrum. Since they are cheaper, they tend to wear out faster than other options and are more likely to fracture. The average cost of a composite resin crown is $400 to $600 per tooth.
Ceramic or porcelain dental crowns are the most natural-looking option and are better for patients who are allergic to certain metals. The average cost of a porcelain dental crown is $800 to $2,500+.
Root Canal and Crown Cost
The cost of a root canal depends on several factors. One of the major ones is the location of the tooth. Front teeth typically cost less than back teeth because they are not as complicated to access. On average, root canal therapy costs:
- Front: $300 to $1,700
- Bicuspid: $800 to $1,800
- Molar: $800 to $2,100
These costs are just for the root canal treatment. This does not include the cost of the crown, which will depend on the material used for the crown. Composite resin will be the least expensive but will also need to be replaced sooner. Porcelain crowns look the most natural and last the longest but are typically the most expensive.
How Much Tooth is Needed for a Crown?
According to the experts, you need approximately 28% to 37% of the natural tooth for a crown to be placed.
Preparing Tooth for Crown
The dentist will need to remove a portion of the tooth to create space for the crown. The amount varies, depending on the material of the crown. They will use special tools to file down the top and sides of the tooth, which will make it smaller and smoother. On the other hand, if your tooth is broken, the dentist may need to build it up and strengthen it so that it can support the crown.
This is why you must work with a dentist that has experience and expertise with dental crowns. If the tooth is not shaped properly, it can impact the way the crown sits on it. If the crown doesn’t sit properly, it could cause your bite to be misaligned, which can cause uneven wear of enamel on surrounding teeth, as well as pain/stress on your jaw joints, leading to TMJ.
Crown vs Filling Cost Comparison
The average cost of a dental crown ranges from $500 to $2,500, depending on the material. The average cost of a dental filling ranges from $50 to $250. Neither a crown nor a filling is designed to last a lifetime- both have a life expectancy of around 5 to 15 years.
How long do dental crowns last?
The average life expectancy of a dental crown is around 5 to 15 years, depending on your oral hygiene and lifestyle habits. In some cases, a crown can last for 20+ years with proper care and maintenance, including brushing twice daily and flossing at least once- and visiting the dentist every 6 months to ensure optimal oral health.
Schedule Your Consultation with Rainier Ave Dental Today
If you need help improving your smile, schedule a consultation with the team at Rainier Ave Dental today. We offer a variety of restorative and cosmetic dental services to give you that picture-perfect smile you’ve always wanted.
We are located at 5425 Rainier Avenue South in Seattle. Our office hours are Monday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Wednesday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Friday by appointment only. You can schedule your appointment by visiting the website or by calling the office at (206) 222-5791.
Dental Crowns FAQ
At Rainier Ave Dental, we understand that you may have questions and concerns about dental crowns and other tooth restorations. We will be more than happy to address those with you. In the meantime, we’ve provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below:
What are dental crowns made of?
Dental crowns may be made of metal, porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, composite resin, or stainless steel.
Do dental crowns hurt?
No, dental crowns do not hurt. Prior to the procedure, patients are given local anesthesia, which numbs the area. Some minor discomfort is to be expected as the anesthesia wears off, but this is easily controlled with OTC or prescription pain relievers.
How much is a crown without insurance?
The average cash price of a dental crown ranges from a low of $500 to a high of around $2,500. This depends on the material of the crown and location of the tooth.
Which type of dental crown is best?
The best type of crown depends on your personal needs and preferences as well as your budget and insurance coverage. The dentists will go over your options during your consultation visit.
Are crowns cheaper than fillings?
In most cases, dental crowns are not cheaper than fillings. Both have a similar life expectancy. Therefore, the best option may depend on your insurance coverage.