Dental crowns can save teeth from extraction. Even severely damaged teeth can often be saved with a crown. But like with any other dental procedure, the cost is a concern for most patients.
While costs can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, it’s important to remember that a crown is an investment in your oral health - and one that will give you a return on your investment many times over.
What are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns, also known as caps, are dental devices that cover all or part of a natural tooth. The purpose of a crown is to reshape the tooth, restore function and keep your teeth healthy.
Caps can be placed over your existing teeth, but they’re also used to create dental bridges and other restoration appliances.
Dental crowns can be made from a variety of materials, each of which will affect the cost of the procedure.
When are Dental Crowns Needed?
Crowns can serve a number of purposes. They can:
- Protect and support a damaged tooth
- Strengthen a weak tooth
- Cover a tooth that’s been treated with a root canal
- Restore a worn-down tooth
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a stained or discolored tooth
If you’ve recently had a root canal, we will recommend a crown to protect the treated tooth.
How Many Visits Are Required?
Typically, dental crowns require two visits:
- To prepare the crown
- To install the crown
During your first visit, we’ll examine the tooth thoroughly to ensure that it can support a crown. We may start the process of shaving down the tooth if necessary. We’ll also take a scan of the tooth, which will be sent to a lab. Your crown will be custom-made to fit your tooth and blend in with your smile.
If we find that the tooth is too severely damaged, we may need to remove it. We will do everything we can to save a tooth, but in some cases, the damage is beyond repair. We can discuss restoration options after the extraction, which may also involve a cap. Implants, for example, are topped with a crown.
If you decide to move forward with getting a crown, we can start looking at the costs of the procedure.
How Much Does a Crown Cost in BC?
The cost of a dental crown can vary greatly, depending on several factors. On average, however, crowns cost around $1,400 in BC.
Of course, your costs may be different. If the procedure is more complicated, the costs may be higher.
We will discuss these costs with you when you come in for an exam and create a treatment plan to let you know what to expect.
What Factors Affect the Cost of a Crown?
The cost of dental crowns will depend on a number of different factors, but the two biggest ones are: the crown’s material and the services you will need to complete the procedure.
Other factors may include:
- The size, location and shape of the tooth that will receive the crown
- The skill of the professional creating the crown
Let’s take a closer look at the material options and other procedures that may be needed when getting a crown.
The crown’s material will have the biggest impact on the cost of the procedure, and you have quite a few options here:
- Porcelain: Crowns made from porcelain are durable, stain resistant and the most natural-looking option. They also happen to be the most expensive option. For this reason, all-porcelain crowns are usually used for front teeth.
- Metal: Metal crowns can be made from gold alloy, nickel-titanium, nickel-chromium or other base metal alloys. Costs can vary greatly, depending on the type of metal used. Gold will naturally be the most expensive option.
- Zirconia: Similar to porcelain, zirconia is a strong and durable material. Zirconia is a type of ceramic that’s known for its longevity. It causes less wear on surrounding teeth and is commonly used on molars. The costs of this material are similar to porcelain.
- Porcelain fused to metal: This type of crown plays on the strengths of metal and porcelain to create a reliable crown that’s long-lasting and durable. These crowns can be placed virtually anywhere in the mouth and tend to be the most affordable option.
- Resin: A resin crown is typically the most affordable option, but this material is more fragile than other options. They last just a few years on average, so they’re often used to create temporary crowns.
We can discuss the options for your crown’s material when creating your treatment plan and select the one that will work best for your budget and needs.
Other Dental Services Needed for the Procedure
There are several steps involved in the placement of a crown, from the diagnosis to preparing your tooth. These procedures will add to the cost of your crown and may include:
- An exam
- Root canal
- Diagnostic casts
- A cone-beam CT scan
- Core build-up
You’ll also need to consider the cost of a temporary crown. A temporary crown will protect your tooth between the first and second visits.
How Long Do Crowns Last?
- Resin crowns only last a few years, although they are more affordable than other material options.
- Zirconia crowns can last up to 7-20 years.
- Gold crowns can also last up to 7-20 years.
The longevity of your crown will also depend on your oral hygiene. Crowns require the same care that your natural teeth require, which means:
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing once a day
- Coming in for an exam and cleanings regularly
Taking good care of your crown and the rest of your teeth will help prevent future complications and maximize the lifespan of your restoration.
It’s also important to consider your diet and lifestyle when caring for your crown. Staying away from hard foods is crucial, especially if you choose a crown material that isn’t as strong and durable as porcelain or zirconia.
Are Dental Crowns Worth the Cost?
Dental crowns are an investment, but are they worth the cost? The answer, of course, is a personal one, but generally, crowns are worth it because they can save your tooth from extraction.
Sometimes, patients have the option of getting either a crown or a large filling. One advantage of choosing the crown is that it offers more protection and support for the tooth. In some cases, large fillings lead to an extraction later on down the road.
If you choose a crown made from a stronger, more durable material (like porcelain or zirconia), then you can expect your restoration to last several years.
Saving and protecting your tooth for a decade or more makes a crown worth the cost for most patients.
Are There Any Alternatives to Dental Crowns?
If dental crowns aren’t in your budget or you decide that they aren’t a good fit for you, there may be a few alternatives to consider.
If you’re concerned about discoloration or stains, veneers may be a viable alternative for you if the tooth does not have decay or damage.
Veneers are thin porcelain shells that are bonded to the surface of the tooth. They can cover discoloration, cracks, chips and other minor aesthetic concerns.
While veneers typically come at a slightly lower cost, they still require us to remove some of your enamel. That said, veneers are long-lasting and worth considering as an alternative to a crown, particularly for front teeth.
Inlays and Onlays
If a tooth is too damaged for a filling but too healthy for a crown, an inlay or onlay may be able to restore your tooth. This restoration fits into the affected area of your tooth like a puzzle piece.
Inlays are molded and then fitted into your tooth’s chewing surface. We’ll take an imprint of the affected area and send it to the lab for manufacturing. Inlays fit perfectly into the hollow portion of the tooth. We can use porcelain or composite material when creating inlays.
Onlays are used to repair damage to the cusps of the tooth or the biting surface. They may be a viable option if the cavity is too large for a filling or vulnerable to cracking. An onlay will shore up the tooth, strengthen it and protect it from damage.
If the tooth is too severely damaged and cannot be saved, we may need to perform an extraction.
Extractions are a lost resort, but sometimes, they are the only practical option.
Dental crowns save teeth, protect against further damage and decay, and restore your smile. If you need a root canal or have a severely damaged tooth, a crown will help strengthen your teeth and oral health.
While crowns can be costly, most patients find that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. In many cases, crowns last more than a decade. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind that your tooth will be saved and protected for years to come.