Does your dentist say you need a crown? Crowns are used to restore teeth that are damaged or decayed. If you're interested in a porcelain crown, cost may be a concern. Here's what you need to know about the different types of crowns that are available, and how much they cost.
Types of Dental Crowns
There are four types of dental crowns: all ceramic, porcelain-fused-to-metal, gold alloys and base metal alloys. All ceramic crowns are made of porcelain. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns consist of a metal structure with porcelain over the top. These types of crowns can be matched to the colour of your other teeth.
Gold alloy crowns are composed of metals including gold and copper. Base metal alloy crowns are made of non-noble metals and have a silver appearance. These types of crowns don't mimic the look of your natural teeth.
Recommendations for Dental Crowns
The four types of dental crowns may be used in different situations, explains the Canadian Dental Association. After examining the tooth that needs to be restored, your dentist will recommend the most appropriate type of crown.
All-porcelain crowns have the best appearance, but they're brittle and can break under heavy biting loads. That makes them a good choice for the front teeth. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are very strong thanks to their metal base. They won't chip as easily as all-porcelain crowns.
Gold or base metal alloys are highly resistant to fracture, so they can be used to repair teeth that have to handle a lot of bite force. If you need a crown on one of your molars, your dentist may recommend these strong crowns. They can also be used to restore the front teeth, but since these crowns don't look natural, porcelain crowns bonded to metal might be a better alternative for front teeth.
Average Costs of Dental Crowns
The average cost of dental crowns varies based on a lot of factors. The material of the crown, the location of the tooth, and the size of the tooth all affect the price of the restoration. The dentist's experience and the local rates also affect the price. For example, an experienced dentist in a high-cost-of-living area will probably charge more than a new dentist in a low-cost-of-living area.
Dental costs vary in Canada taking into consideration lab costs, professional fees and the cost of the crown and materials. The average price of crowns ranges from $900-$1500 per tooth. Metal crowns made of gold alloy can cost more for the material than a porcelain crown, though nickel tends to be cheaper. Porcelain fused to metal crowns can be pricier than metal crowns as they are more difficult to make. To get an exact cost, ask your dentist.
Getting Dental Crowns on a Budget
If you're on a tight budget and you don't have dental insurance, you may worry about being able to pay for your dental crowns. An affordable dentist isn't out of reach. If you live near a university with a dental school, you may be able to get low-cost dental care there. At dental schools, dentistry students provide services for patients in supervised clinics. You'll save money, and the dentistry students get to practise. It's a win-win.
If there's no dental school nearby, ask your dentist if he or she offers promotional rates. Some dentists offer lower rates or sliding-scale fees for patients on a budget. You may also be able to work out a payment plan with your dentist.
Caring for Dental Crowns
Dental crowns can't get cavities, but that doesn't mean they don't need to be cared for. Brush and floss your crowns the same way as you clean your natural teeth. Brush twice a day with a toothpaste approved by your dental professional.
Your dentist will help you decide the best type of crown for your tooth. If you and your dentist decide to go with a porcelain crown, cost shouldn't hold you back.