Everything You Need To Know About Dental Crowns: Part 1 of 4

Our Mesa, Arizona dentist, Dr. Huyhn sees several patients every day who would benefit from a dental crown. Though crowns are a very popular treatment in dentistry, many people don’t know much about them. In this four-part blog series, we’re going to discuss everything that you need to know about dental crowns.

What Is A Dental Crown?

A dental crown is a cap or cover that fits over a natural tooth.  Crowns are custom fabricated from pieces of durable porcelain or other strong materials like gold and are made to look and feel like natural teeth.

Why Do I Need A Dental Crown?

A crown is used to protect a weak tooth from breaking, to restore its shape, size, strength, and improve its appearance. A crown may be recommended if you have a tooth with the following conditions:

  • Contains a large filling
  • Has a lot of decay
  • Is cracked
  • Is chipped or broken
  • Is short
  • Has had root canal treatment
  • Is extremely sensitive to cold temperatures

Getting Your Diagnosis

During your oral evaluation, our Mesa dentist will examine your teeth for any signs of the above conditions. A digital x-ray will be taken of any questionable teeth to help us determine if a crown is the best treatment option.  X-rays can show us how widespread the decay is, or if your tooth has had root canal therapy in the past. Digital images, taken with our intraoral camera is a great way to show you a close up of what the tooth looks like. 

If a crown is recommended, then we’ll discuss finances and insurance with you; and if you’d like to move forward we’ll schedule your appointment.

How Much Does A Crown Cost?

The average cost of a crown nationwide is around $1,000.  Dental insurance plans usually cover about 50% of the cost. These restorations come with a larger investment because of the time and lab process involved with each case to ensure the best possible outcome. Every smile is unique, so we have to prepare each tooth a different way, and custom design every crown. To do so, we use a variety of modern technology and equipment to ensure the most accurately fitting restoration.


How Long Do Crowns Last?

When taken care of properly, a dental crown will last for many years.  People with good oral hygiene that are conscious about their crown can expect to get up to 20 years out of their restoration. If you don’t have insurance, that’s equivalent to paying $50 a year for your crown. When looking at it from that perspective, most people are more aware of the importance of restoring their tooth.  

Is There An Alternative To A Dental Crown?

Still not convinced that a dental crown is worth it?  Ultimately the decision is yours. Alternative procedures that are less expensive do exist.  For instance, you may be able to get a filling and restore the appearance of your tooth, but it won’t provide the same level of protection, durability, and longevity. 

Large fillings tend to loosen and pop off more frequently than small ones. Each time something like that happens, you’ll need to get the filling replaced and have to pay for it every time. In the long run, you’ll end up spending more on having your tooth filled than you would have if you had initially gotten a crown.

Another downfall to having your tooth filled is the risk of it breaking. Filling material isn’t as strong as natural tooth structure, meaning that teeth with large fillings are weak and prone to breaking. If your tooth breaks off even with the gum line (which is something we see quite frequently) there’s nothing left to do but remove the remaining roots.  As a result, you’re left with living with a missing tooth (which brings about additional side effects) or getting a dental implant to replace the tooth, which costs about three times a much as a crown would have cost you to start with.

Finance Options For A Dental Crown

If you see the value in a dental crown but aren’t able to cover the fee all at once, then we can help you find the right finance option for your budget. Eastport Dental of Mesa, Arizona is proud to work with Care Credit and Lending Club financing to offer 0% interest for up to 18 months on nearly all of our procedures. If you’re interested in getting special financing for your dental crown  or other treatment, just let us know

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