This article focuses what affects the price of a dental crown. I should point out from the start that you won’t get exact figures here! There is far too much worldwide variation to do so here. What we will focus on is the factors that lead to this variation in prices.
A crown (‘cap’) is a protective covering that is placed over a tooth. It acts to either strengthen a weakened tooth, rebuild a broken down one and/or improve the esthetic appearance of the teeth. They are placed, usually, over two or more visits, and can involve lengthy appointments (read more on the procedure here).
There are several factors that make treatments like this costlier than ‘routine’ work. So let’s take a quick look at these factors..
“How much does a dental crown cost?”
This is a very common question for anyone needing this work done. But it is not an easy one to answer specifically in a general article like this. There are so many variables that affect the cost…
The cost of dental crown treatment will vary greatly depending on:
- The skill and experience of the dentist. A dentist who has invested time and money into further training will command higher fees. A specialist, known as a ‘prosthodontist‘ is trained in dealing with trickier and more complex cases, and such cases are more expensive. Such cases may include ‘full mouth rehabilitation‘ where every tooth needs worked on. This involves a lot of pre-planning and technical expertise.
- The skill and experience of the dental technician. Laboratories will vary in the fees they charge for production of dental prosthesis. The longer a technician spends fabricating the , the more they will charge.
- The type of crown and the cost of the materials used. Generally speaking, metal crowns (like gold) are the cheapest. Next are ceramic and the most costly are metal-ceramic. However there are many exceptions to this general rule.
- Any temporary crown work. There is usually a wait of a few weeks, from when a tooth is made ready (‘prepped’), to when it is ready to be fitted. During this time, a temp needs to be placed to protect the underlying tooth. The price of this is usually added into the overall bill. However if lab-manufactured temporaries are required (as opposed to those that the dentist can make themselves) this can add to the price.
- The price of any foundation work such as placing a post under the cap. Such foundation work will mean more work for the dentist and possibly greater costs for materials used. Should the cap be placed on a tooth that needed root canal, or indeed an implant, this will greatly increase the overall price.
- Whether the crown is made by a machine in the dentist’s office or not. Such modern machines produce crowns very quickly but are also very expensive.
- The number of teeth being crowned. An obvious one – the more that are needed, the greater the cost overall. But if a dentist is placing several crowns, they will often reduce the fee per item.
On top of the above ‘dental’ variables, there is also the issue of your insurance coverage. If you belong to a dental insurance or discount plan, this may considerably reduce your out-of-pocket expense. Always check with your provider to determine what is, and isn’t, covered so you don’t get any surprises afterwards. The dental crown cost without insurance will of course be higher unfortunately.
Note that many insurers and discount plan providers will not pay out for cosmetic procedures. So if you are getting work done for this reason alone you will likely not receive any cover.
So, as you can see there’s a lot of factors that determine a dental crown cost. One can be priced anywhere between $500- $2500+ in the USA.
Return to the main page on dental crowns here.