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Why Are Dental Crowns So Expensive? [7 Reasons 2023]

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There may come a time in life when something happens to one of your teeth. It could get chipped or damaged somehow.

Your tooth could be severely affected by tooth decay, or a filling may not be fitting for what needs to be done to keep your mouth healthy.

One option to help you restore the look of your teeth naturally is to get a dental crown. It can give you a natural-looking smile back.

A dental crown is a kind of jacket for your tooth, enveloping it for a natural-looking repair. The problem is that dental crowns don’t come cheap.

A dental crown is one of the most expensive dental procedures. Most dentists use advanced and expensive technology to build a dental piece that will last. Today’s dental crowns also look natural. Service and office time fees are also included in the cost. Dental crowns are also expensive because your insurance might not cover them.

1. Advanced Technology 

Dental crowns are built with advanced technology and are made specifically for you. It is made to fit on your tooth to give it the most natural look so that an unknowing bystander would never know you have a dental crown. 

To achieve this, dentists and dental technologists use computer-aided design technology.

This technology helps make dental crowns that fit the color of your teeth perfectly. It also helps manufacture your crowns faster, cutting down the time you have to wait for a repair.

However, the final bill includes the cost of this technology.

2. They Are Built To Last

Any hardware that is put in your mouth needs to be built to last. They must be able to withstand food and drink as well as your chewing force. 

Dental crowns can often last for decades when done correctly. Therefore, the quality of materials and the skills used to build them must be outstanding.

If these are not built to last, you would be paying for cheap replacements over and over. It is better to pay more upfront for a quality product. 

3. Laboratory Fees & Supplies

While some dental crowns can be made with CAD technology in the office, others cannot. This could be because the office does not have the technology yet or it may need to be made in a laboratory with specialized tools for uniquely crafting dental crowns. 

Laboratories must charge for their services to build an excellent product. They have to send supplies to the dentist so they can make an impression of the tooth that needs the crown.

Then, they have to take that impression and make a crown that perfectly fits into your mouth. 

By doing this, they are using unique skills and special equipment, and their services are built into that final cost you pay your dentist for your crown. 

4. Specialized Skills

Not only are the employees at the lab creating the dental crowns using specialized skills, but your dentist is using the specialized skills they trained for to help you fix what is broken in your mouth. 

You are not just paying for a product when you are having a dental crown installed. You are paying your dentist for their time and expertise to ensure that it is installed correctly and that you will not have issues with it. 

5. Time In Office

When you get a dental crown, you are often not just in and out like you are for a teeth cleaning. You are going to be taking up a chair at the dental office for upwards of three hours and likely on multiple days

When you are there for longer, you prevent the office from taking in additional clients for the office’s revenue. 

Therefore a longer treatment or service is likely to cost more money. You will be charged more money when you think of being charged by the hour. Since you are also paying for your service, you will see this in the final cost of making dental crowns so expensive. 

6. Medical Grade Materials 

There are several different types of dental crowns made of composite, acrylic, ceramic, or precious metals. 

Metal crowns are the most durable. They can be made of gold, palladium, or chromium. Nickel crowns also exist, although most dentists don’t use this metal anymore. 

Regardless of the metal, these crowns have withstanding durability and are fracture-resistant. Crowns made of zirconia or lithium disilicate and nanoparticle-composite are also durable

Porcelain fused to metal looks more natural. However, this cosmetic choice can drive the costs up. 

Another option is to use a ceramic dental crown. This will be a more natural tooth color and can conceal that you have a crown in your mouth. 

7. Insurance Can Play A Part 

Depending on your dental insurance type, you may have to pay more than others. Some dental plans may cover additional costs, whereas some may not cover the costs at all. 

Generally, dental insurances only pay for the crowns when they are medically necessary. If a filling would work, but you opt for a crown due to cosmetic reasons, the insurance won’t pay for it. 

Moreover, most carriers only pay for 50% of the crown cost; the patient has to cover the rest. 

This does not mean that the dental crown is cheaper, but it does mean that you may have to pay less because your insurance will cover some of the costs. 

Conclusion

If you need to have a dental crown placed in your mouth, know that the costs may be higher than anticipated. You are paying for material that can resist for decades. Additionally, you are paying for specialized lab fees and doctors to carry out the work. 

While dental crowns typically run on the higher end of the pay spectrum, people are generally willing to pay for them to ensure the health of their teeth and the aesthetic of their smiles.

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