Replacing a dental crown might not be something you think about often, but as durable as they are, crowns do have a lifespan. Just like anything else, crowns can wear down, chip, or simply need an upgrade.
If you find yourself in need of a crown replacement, you might wonder about the costs involved.
Generally, you can expect to spend anywhere from $600 to $3000 per crown, with insurance offsetting some of that cost. Factors like choice of materials, location of dental office, extent of tooth damage, need for additional diagnostics and treatments (like x-rays and root canal therapy), and insurance influence the final price.
Discussing budget and options with your dentist is key to finding the right crown solution. Be sure to get pre-treatment estimates to understand costs.
Factors Affecting Crown Replacement Costs
Location and Practice
The cost of crown replacement can differ significantly based on where you are geographically and the specific dental practice you choose. Dental fees vary from one area to another, and even within the same city, prices can vary based on factors like overhead costs and local economic conditions.
Type of Crown
Different materials are used for crowns, each with its own cost. Porcelain, metal, and porcelain-fused-to-metal are common options. Porcelain crowns are popular due to their natural appearance, but they tend to be pricier than metal alternatives.
A dentist’s experience and reputation can influence the cost of crown replacement. Established dentists with a successful track record might charge more for their expertise and skill.
Before the procedure, X-rays and scans are essential for assessing your oral health accurately. These diagnostic tools can contribute to the overall cost of crown replacement.
Preparation and Removal
The complexity of crown removal and preparation for the new crown can impact the cost. Complicated cases may require more time and resources, affecting the final price.
Average Cost Ranges for Crown Replacement
Getting a crown replacement will set you back at least several hundred dollars, but it is an important investment to restore damaged teeth. Ultimately, the cost largely depends on the type of material used for the crown:
a. Metal Crowns:
Gold alloy or non-precious metal crowns are among the most affordable options, costing $600-$1500 per crown without insurance. The typical out-of-pocket cost is around $1350. With dental insurance, patients may pay between $500 and $1100 depending on plan coverage. While durable, metal may not have the most aesthetic appearance.
b. Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns:
More natural-looking porcelain fused to a metal base costs approximately $500 – $1500 per crown without insurance coverage. The average cost is $1100. With insurance, costs range from $300-$1000 out-of-pocket based on the policy’s crown replacement provision. This combination offers strength and aesthetically pleasing results.
c. All-Ceramic or All-Porcelain Crowns:
For the most natural and translucent appearance similar to real teeth, all-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns cost $800-$3000 per tooth. The typical cost is around $1500 without insurance. With dental insurance, patients pay $500-$1900 out-of-pocket based on plan allowances. While aesthetically ideal, all-ceramic crowns are more prone to fractures and wear and tear over time. This could lead to the need for more frequent replacements or repairs, resulting in higher long-term costs compared to other crown materials.
Additional Costs to Consider
1. Consultation and Examination
The initial consultation and examination before the crown replacement might have associated costs. These charges are essential for the dentist to evaluate your case and provide you with an accurate treatment plan.
2. Laboratory Fees
Crafting the new crown often takes place in a dental laboratory. The fabrication process incurs additional fees, which can contribute to the overall cost.
3. Temporary Crowns
In some cases, a temporary crown is placed while your permanent crown is being created. Temporary crowns ensure your tooth is protected and functional during the interim period, but they might come with their own costs.
4. Aftercare and Follow-Up
Remember, the costs don’t end with the procedure itself. Follow-up appointments are crucial to ensure the stability and functionality of your new crown. These appointments might involve fees for assessments, adjustments, and any necessary maintenance.
Potential Complications that can affect Cost of Crowns
Complications following crown replacement can vary in severity and impact both the success of the procedure and the overall cost of treatment, as follows:
- Sensitivity and Discomfort – After crown replacement, it’s common to experience temporary sensitivity or discomfort. While this is usually manageable and subsides over time, more persistent sensitivity might require adjustments to the crown’s fit or bite alignment.
- Crown Misfit or Poor Alignment – If the newly placed crown doesn’t fit properly or is misaligned with your bite, it can cause discomfort and affect your ability to chew. Correcting this issue might involve adjustments or even redoing the crown.
- Allergic Reactions or Gum Irritation – In rare cases, some individuals might develop allergic reactions to the materials used in the crown. Additionally, poorly fitting crowns can cause gum irritation. Addressing these complications might involve changing the crown material or making adjustments to the fit.
- Crown Fracture or Chipping – Crowns, though durable, can still fracture or chip, especially if subjected to excessive force. Repairing or replacing a fractured crown can lead to additional expenses, depending on the severity of the damage and the type of crown material used.
- Infection or Decay – If the crown replacement procedure doesn’t properly seal the tooth, it can lead to infection or decay beneath the crown. Treating these issues might involve additional procedures like root canals, removal of the crown, and potentially even the placement of a new crown after addressing the underlying problem. These complications can significantly increase the overall cost of treatment.
- Bite or Jaw Alignment Issues – An improperly fitted crown can lead to bite or jaw alignment problems, causing discomfort and potential TMJ issues. Correcting these alignment issues might involve additional appointments and adjustments.
- Aesthetic Concerns – If the appearance of the crown doesn’t meet your expectations in terms of color, shape, or size, adjustments or replacements might be necessary. Achieving the desired aesthetic can lead to additional costs, particularly if new impressions and laboratory work are required.
It’s important to note that while complications can increase the cost of crown replacement, a skilled and experienced dentist can minimize the risk of these issues through proper diagnosis, planning, and execution of the procedure.
- Dental Insurance Coverage – Dental insurance can play a significant role in the cost of crown replacement. Coverage can vary widely based on your insurance plan and the reason for the replacement. Insurance might cover a portion of the expenses, especially if the replacement is deemed medically necessary rather than purely cosmetic.
- Payment Options and Financing – Dental practices often offer various payment options to accommodate different budgets. These might include credit cards, payment plans, and financing options. Before proceeding with the crown replacement, it’s a good idea to discuss the financial aspect with the dental office. They can guide you through the available options and help you make an informed decision.
Seeking Quality Care within Budget
While cost is a consideration, remember that the quality of care should be a priority. A well-trained and experienced dentist can ensure a successful crown replacement with fewer complications down the road. Research dentists in your area, read reviews, and ask questions about the procedure and associated costs during your initial consultation.