Dental crowns are an option to restore the appearance and functionality of a badly damaged tooth. If your tooth has sustained a lot of damage, it may not make sense to try to build the enamel back up with a porcelain or filling replacement. Instead, a crown provides a longer-term solution that looks amazing–and with dental insurance, cost may not be an object.
What are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are essentially a false top for your tooth. When your tooth is severely damaged, fillings may not be enough to repair it. Filling material is weaker than your actual tooth enamel, and trying to fix a lot of your tooth that way will just lead to further breakage. A dental crown is a cap that is placed over the remains of your tooth. Your tooth may have to be drilled down to accommodate the cap. Once it’s in place, the crown acts as your natural tooth. If you choose to get porcelain fused to metal or pure porcelain crowns, it won’t even be evident to anyone else that your crown is not your natural tooth.
The basic cost of your dental crown will depend on what type of crown you choose. Today, porcelain fused to metal is one of your most cost-effective options. This crown is metal on the inside, but porcelain on the outside, and can be made to match the color of your surrounding teeth. They start at around $875 per tooth. Pure metal alloy, gold or otherwise, have an extremely wide range of price options. They can start at $830 but can soar to over $2,450 per tooth. If you want to opt for pure porcelain, you may be able to save a little money as the lowest range is $800, but the price climbs to $3,000 per tooth very quickly. Porcelain looks the best, but it also has a higher chance of breaking. To balance appearance and performance with cost, porcelain fused to metal is the most popular choice.
Average Lifespan of Dental Crowns
Dental crowns have a large range of time that fits an “average” lifespan. Typically, your crown should last five to fifteen years. Some kinds of crowns last on the lower end of the spectrum, specifically pure porcelain, but the rest is up to chance and how well you care for the crown. Practicing good dental hygiene will prevent food and plaque from gumming up under the crown and causing tooth problems. Being careful to chew gently on the crown can help as well. Avoiding fruit with pits and sticky, chewy foods can also help your dental crown last. With proper care, dental crowns may last as long as twenty to thirty years.
Dental crowns are a great alternative to fillings for teeth that are badly damaged. You can protect your tooth from further damage and get a crown that improves the look of your smile. While crowns aren’t cheap, with proper care, they can last you a very long time.