When you have damaged teeth, you should consider dental crowns to restore their appearance and functionality. These restorations protect and strengthen damaged teeth, help decayed teeth regain their functionality, or replace existing damaged caps in an implant. If, after evaluating your teeth, the dentist establishes that you require crowns, they will have several options for you to pick from. Ensure that you discuss the various forms of caps and their prices before you can commence treatment.

Candidacy for Dental Caps or Crowns

Before you explore the various crown options for your damaged teeth, you must establish your eligibility for this restorative procedure. You should start by visiting an experienced dentist for an examination. If the damage or tooth decay is so extensive that your dental expert cannot explore options like composite bonding, they recommend tooth crowns to restore the damaged teeth. Your dentist advises that you go for crowns for the following reasons:

  • A decayed tooth
  • Tooth cavities
  • Cracked or chipped tooth
  • For aesthetic purposes
  • To protect your implants
  • To reinforce your bridges
  • For aesthetic reasons

Planning a Dental Crowns Procedure

In your first consultation with your dental expert, they will perform an x-ray to determine the severity of the tooth’s decay or damage. Once the dentist confirms your crown candidacy, they will begin planning your restoration procedure.

Part of the planning entails taking an impression of the affected teeth to help determine the tooth crown’s size and shape. When the restoration is for aesthetic reasons, the dentist will take impressions of your teeth, and these will be utilized to model restorations with the new and desired height, shape, and alignment to help you see what to expect after the procedure. Once you opt for crowns, the impressions will go to a dental technician for production.

A competent dentist will also utilize the first consultation to walk you through the treatment, including the preparations, your anesthesia or sedation options, and whether you will be wearing temporary restorations before the permanent ones are ready. Your dental professional will also explain the steps you need to take to maintain proper oral hygiene while wearing the temporary restorations.

Dental Crowns Procedure

When you need tailored crowns, you should be willing to make several visits to your dentist. It is only possible to receive permanent restorations in one visit if your dentist adopts advanced technology like CEREC, which limits your appointments with the dentist to one. Advanced technology enables your dentist to fabricate your permanent restoration on the same day the impression is taken. The use of 3-D imaging technology reduces the fabrication time due to increased accuracy. When you choose a dentist using advanced tools, temporary crowns will be unnecessary unless you have undergone a root canal procedure where you need time to heal before placing permanent crowns.

The steps your dental professional will follow during dental crown placement depend on your restoration choice. However, the steps involved in the procedure include:

  • The damaged tooth is reshaped to make room for the placement of tooth caps. The amount of reshaping varies depending on the damage and the choice of crowns.
  • The dentist takes a mold of the impacted teeth and sends it to the lab for fabrication.
  • The dentist then places the temporary restorations to protect the reshaped teeth as you wait for the permanent ones.
  • Once the final restorations are ready, you will return to the dentist for the final attachment using special cement.

Before the dentist allows you to leave their office, they will look for any imperfections that could impair the functionality and aesthetics of the restorations and remove them to achieve the desired results. The duration of the crowns depends on their placement. Therefore, you should find a skilled dentist who will be ready to correct the flaws in the restorations and ensure the caps sit perfectly on the affected teeth.

Besides, with a competent dentist, you should expect them to treat the underlying condition causing the decay or damage before placing the crowns. The action prevents the gums from pulling back, exposing the crowns, thus denying you the appealing look you wanted after the treatment.

Choosing Dental Caps or Crowns

Immediately after your dentist confirms that you are a candidate for crowns, you will start thinking of the most suitable forms of tooth crowns for your teeth. There is a manifold of dental crowns at varying prices, materials, and procedures. The standard crown types include:

Gold Crowns

When you come across the term gold crowns, you could easily assume they are made of pure gold. However, gold crowns are made of a gold alloy. They combine metals like copper, chromium, or nickel.

Gold crowns are unpopular because they are not aesthetically appealing. However, they are solid and resistant to fracturing, making them suitable for people with parafunctional habits like clenching or grinding teeth. Also, if you want to replace the back teeth that are not visible through the mouth and grind most of the food, you should consider gold crowns because of their durability and strength.

The benefits of installing gold crowns include:

  • The material is malleable or shapeable
  • They are suitable for back or posterior teeth because of their high resistance to cracking
  • The dentist only removes a small portion of the enamel during reshaping
  • With good care and oral hygiene, gold crowns are highly durable
  • Like your natural enamel, gold is less corrosive to the surrounding teeth

As much as these caps have many benefits, they also have shortcomings. One is that the gold material is not the same color as your teeth, making it impossible to achieve the flawless smile you initially sought. Besides, gold alloy caps can cause inflammation in the gums and allergic reactions.

All Porcelain Caps

When your goal is to restore the appearance of your teeth, all-porcelain caps, also known as all-ceramic caps, should be your preference because they resemble the color of your natural teeth.

All ceramic or porcelain caps are made of zirconia material, which is biocompatible, meaning the crowns are metal-free. The lack of a metal core to support the crown means they can be fabricated thin enough and suitable for impacted teeth with limited space and a need to preserve the natural tooth enamel. Again, the lack of a metal core means these crowns are transparent and allow light through, enhancing the appearance of your teeth.

The biocompatibility element of these crowns makes them metal, and toxin-free, meaning you will have no allergic reaction. Also, they are the best for replacing front teeth because of their aesthetic appearance.

However, as much as these caps have advanced in strength, be careful where you install them. They can easily fracture or chip, especially when used on posterior teeth.

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crowns

Also called full-cast, PFM caps are made of gold in the lower layer and porcelain in the top layer. The idea of fusing these two metals combines strength from gold material and aesthetics from porcelain material, which comprises the top layer. The benefits you will derive from using crowns that combine these metals include:

  • The caps are long lasting and can last for at least 50 years with sufficient care
  • The ceramic combines both beauty and durability
  • They are cheaper than all ceramic caps

The drawbacks of these restorations are that:

  • The gold layer, usually on the lower side, can lead to gum tissue discoloration, denying you the aesthetics you were looking for when opting for these crowns. So, these crowns can serve you briefly, and remove them before the gums turn gray and recede.
  • If they develop a parafunctional habit, the gold material will eat away the adjacent teeth.

Zirconia Tooth Crowns

This new material has gained popularity in zirconium as it addresses concerns caused by porcelain and gold crowns. The benefits of these crowns are:

  • They are solid and durable
  • They enhance your smile
  • The treatment can be completed in a single appointment because the crowns can be cut and reshaped in your dentist’s clinic without going to a dental lab.
  • The biocompatible element of Zirconia eliminates allergic reactions and inflammations.

The downside of the crowns is that solid Zirconia is difficult to adjust. Again, the strength of these crowns can eat away at the natural enamel of adjacent teeth.

E-Max Caps

The latest dental cap type on the market is E-max. They are fabricated using lithium disilicate, which is light and finite, giving your teeth a beautiful look. The merits of these crowns are:

  • They are suitable for both anterior and back or posterior teeth
  • The material offers strength and durability
  • They give you a flawless smile

However, crowns are expensive, and there have been cases of treatment failure when they are used for posterior teeth.

Cost of Tooth Crowns

Once you have understood the various forms of tooth crowns and their benefits and disadvantages, it is time to discuss the price of these restorations to help you make an informed decision. Each crown uses a different material and involves a different procedure from the other, and these factors cause the cost variance. For example, when you go for all-ceramic, you will spend more money than when you choose metal crowns.

Other factors affecting the rates of your dental caps are the location of your dentist, their education level, and the type of advanced technology they use in their offices. Besides, each case is unique, so the cost will depend on the circumstances of your tooth decay or damage.

Typically, you will pay approximately $1,000 to $3,500 to receive a dental cap. After the treatment, the crown can last at least fifteen years. The price you pay out-of-pocket depends on whether you have insurance coverage for the restorative treatment. Also, you may require additional procedures to treat the underlying condition, so the cost will be higher than that of an individual who does not require additional procedures.

Check with your insurance to see if dental caps are covered and the percentage of the cost they will pay. Usually, they will pay 50% of the total fees, reducing the price by half. Also, the insurance will offer coverage for the treatment when performed for preventative reasons. However, if the treatment is for cosmetic purposes, most insurers will not provide coverage, and this can cause problems with the cost because you will have to pay the fees out of pocket.

Average Dental Caps Fees

Dentists charge $1,300 for all porcelain caps, $1,100 for metal fused porcelain, and $1,300 for gold alloy caps. E-Max and Zirconia caps have roughly the same price as all porcelain caps.

In-Network vs. Out-of-Network Costs

The price of your restorations will also vary depending on your choice of a dentist. When the need for the dental caps is immediate, you can go on a dental discount plan by visiting an in-network dentist. These dentists have negotiated with your insurer to offer discounts for various dental services. Therefore, when you visit a dentist within the network, they will offer a discount ranging from 10% to 60%, making the restoration procedure affordable.

However, even though you will save money by receiving treatment from a dentist appointed by your insurer, you will have limited options, as only a few dental experts can suit your oral needs.

Out-of-network dentists are those who have no contracts with insurance companies. Insurers do not negotiate their rates, meaning they charge more for the same services. However, the benefits of these professionals are that you have many options to choose from and will only work with a dentist who understands your dental issues and the appropriate restorative procedures.

Even though cost will influence your choice of a dentist, do not solely focus on the fee. You should run background checks on the dental professional you want to work with to ensure they understand the crowns you want.

Find a Competent General Dentist Near Me

Crowns last for decades, meaning you must be careful when choosing a crown type to avoid regretting your decision. At Lasting Impressions Dental Spa, we will explain all forms of tooth caps, their merits, demerits, and costs to help you make an informed decision. Call us at 818-751-5100 for a no-obligation consultation in Encino, CA.