What is a Dental Crown?
A dental Crown is a metal or porcelain cap that completely covers your existing tooth and is held in place by dental cement. A crown may be used to cover a tooth that has a large cavity, which endangers the overall health of the tooth or to cover a tooth that has undergone an endodontic treatment or “root canal.”
How does the procedure work?
Your dentist will first take an impression of your existing tooth and then grind away a small amount of the outer enamel of your tooth. A second impression is then made and the two impressions are sent to an outside laboratory that fabricates the crown itself. It usually takes no more than one to two weeks for the permanent crown to be fabricated and in the meantime your dentist will likely fit you with a temporary crown to minimize sensitivity to heat and cold. Once the permanent crown arrives, your dentist removes the temporary crown and fits the permanent crown over your existing tooth. Your dentist may first bond the crown with temporary cement for a period of days or weeks in order to ensure a proper fit and bite before bonding it to the existing tooth with permanent dental cement after final bite adjustments are made by carefully grinding the crown itself.
What is the cost of a Dental Crown?
The cost of a dental crown can vary widely based on the materials used, location of the crown, experience level of your dentist and whether or not you have dental insurance that covers the procedure. If you have dental insurance and the crown is medically necessary, your insurance may cover 50% or more of the cost of the procedure. Metal fused to porcelain crowns are the least expensive option and can range from $500 to $1500 per tooth. All metal crowns made of gold or other metal alloys range in price from $800 to $2500 per tooth. All porcelain crowns are generally the most expensive option and require the greatest skill and training for the dentist to properly apply. Porcelain crowns can range in price from $800 to $3000 or more per crown. Insurance can significantly reduce the out of pocket costs of a medically necessary crown, although crowns for cosmetic purposes are usually not covered.
What are the benefits of Dental Crowns?
There are many benefits to the use of a dental crown. A dental crown can support a bridge or a tooth that has been severely damaged or cracked. A dental crown is a long lasting option that allows for the preservation of the natural tooth after a root canal while minimizing the risk of additional decay. Crowns can also cover dental implants, add length to worn teeth and mask discolored or otherwise imperfect teeth. A dental crown is a procedure with a proven record of safety and efficacy. As with any procedure, however, there are risks. The risks and side effects of dental crowns are largely minor and preventable, but include increased sensitivity to heat and cold, chipping or breaking of the crown itself, non-bonding of the crown from the tooth, and periodontal disease caused by improper oral hygiene after crown placement. In addition, if your dentist is not careful to remove all decay prior to placement of the crown, there is a risk that the tooth will continue to decay within the crown, causing further pain and inflammation of the tooth.