Karrinyup Dental Centre

Maximising Your Smile’s Potential By Balancing the Cost and Value of Dental Crowns

Karrinyup Dental Centre

Written by:

Dr. Justin Soon

Published on:

Maximising Your Smile’s Potential By Balancing the Cost and Value of Dental Crowns

Many may have considered a dental crown at some point in their lives. They have become a reliable treatment for a wide range of dental issues, such as a weakened tooth after a root canal treatment or a chipped tooth from an accident.

Dental crowns’ adaptability and efficiency have resulted in their widespread use in dental clinics throughout the country. However, many of us may find ourselves puzzled when faced with the various options and considerations. This is particularly apparent when it concerns the cost and value of dental crowns.

Knowing how to strike a balance between price and value is essential. We will help you navigate through the treatment options in your smile makeover journey. We will include everything from dental procedure costs to long-term value from materials to aesthetics.

Summary of The Content

  • Dental crowns help enhance smiles and improve oral health, acting as caps for damaged or weakened teeth.
  • The cost and value of dental crowns reflect the aesthetic improvement and the long-term protection they offer to your oral health.
  • Costs of dental crowns vary and are influenced by material, labour, the tooth’s condition, clinic location, and the dentist’s experience.
  • Health funds may partially cover crown treatments, but they can vary.
  • Payment options for crowns include payment plans, financing options, and subsidies.
  • Long-term benefits of crowns include protecting teeth, enhancing smiles, and improving confidence.
  • Proper care and maintenance extend the life of crowns and include good oral hygiene and routine check-ups.
  • Dental crowns are compared with fillings, implants, bridges, and veneers, highlighting different uses and costs.
  • Assessing if a crown is right for you involves considering dental needs, aesthetic goals, and financial readiness.

Exploring the World of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns play an indispensable role in modern cosmetic dentistry. They offer both functional and aesthetic results for a wide range of dental issues. At their core, dental crowns are custom-made caps designed to encase damaged teeth. They provide several key benefits:

  • Protection for Damaged Teeth:
    Crowns serve as a protective cover for broken, cracked or badly decayed teeth. They help prevent further damage and potential tooth loss.
  • Aesthetic Enhancement:
    For those seeking to improve their smile, crowns offer aesthetic results. They cover discoloured or poorly shaped teeth, providing a more natural-looking appearance.
  • Dental Crown Durability and Longevity:
    Made from materials like porcelain, ceramic, zirconia, or metal, dental crowns are built to last. They can last longer with proper care.
  • Support for Dental Structures:
    Root canal therapy saves the tooth from being extracted. However, due to the extent of damage, the tooth would usually require additional support. Dental crowns are often recommended following root canal therapy to reinforce the tooth.
  • Restoration of Oral Functionality:
    Crowns allow patients to chew and speak comfortably by restoring the tooth’s structure and function, which contribute to overall oral health and well-being.

Dental crowns stand as a testament to the advancements in dental technology and materials. They offer patients the opportunity to enjoy a healthy, functional, and aesthetically pleasing smile.

Dental Crown Material and Aesthetics

Choosing the right material for a dental crown balances aesthetics with functionality. The material selected affects dental crown durability and appearance. The most common materials used for dental crowns are as follows:

 AestheticsDurabilitySuited ForAdditional Notes
Porcelain CrownsHigh (mimics natural teeth with translucency)Good (less strong than metal crowns)Front teeth restorationsPrecisely matched to natural tooth colour, blending seamlessly. Lower resistance to biting and chewing forces.
Metal CrownsLow (metallic colour is noticeable)Very High (extremely durable)Back teethMade from gold, platinum, or base-metal alloys. Less likely to chip or break.
Porcelain-Fused-to-MetalMedium (balance between metal strength and porcelain aesthetics)High (metal base for strength)Both front and back teethOffers a balance between strength from metal and a natural appearance with theporcelain coating.
Acrylic Resin CrownsMedium (more prone to wear and discolouration)Lower (not as durable as porcelain or metal)Short-term or temporary restorationsOne of the affordable dental crown options. Easier to fabricate but less durable and more prone to discolouration over time.

When selecting the right material for your dental crown, consider both functional needs and aesthetic desires. Talk about your personal preferences to make a suitable choice. The right material will not only restore the functionality of your tooth but also enhance your smile.

Types of Dental Crowns and Their Costs

The average cost of dental crowns is largely influenced by the type of material used in the construction of crowns. Each material offers different benefits and has a unique price point, affecting the overall investment in dental health. Let’s look at each dental crown’s quality and price:

Crown TypeMaterialAestheticDurabilityCost RangeNotes
Porcelain and CeramicPorcelain/ CeramicHigh (Natural appearance)Moderate to HighAverage: $2,100Higher cost due to aesthetic advantages and intricate fabricationprocess.
Metal CrownsGold, Silver, Metal AlloysLow (Metallic appearance)High$1,800-$4,700Considered as cost-effective over time due to durability. Cost varies by metal type, with gold being more expensive.
Porcelain Fused to MetalMetal core, Porcelain exteriorModerate (More natural than metal)High$1,700-$2,500Possibility of porcelain chipping, moderate price range.
Composite ResinComposite ResinModerate (Less natural than porcelain)LowLower costLess durable and more prone to wear and staining.
ZirconiaZirconiaHigh (Similar to porcelain)Very HighGenerally higher, $1,790Blends strength of metal with aesthetics of porcelain, high durability.

Each material comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks, which influence dental crown durability, longevity, and appearance. Affordable dental crown options are always available. However, when choosing dental crowns, it is important to have a conversation with a dental professional about the most suitable material for your specific needs, taking into account both your budget and other considerations.

Cost factors play a crucial role in the decision-making process for dental crowns. A crown’s cost is not solely dependent on the material. Several other factors play a critical role, including:

  • Material of the Crown:
    Dental crown quality and price go hand in hand. As previously discussed, material significantly influences the crown’s price. More durable and aesthetically pleasing materials usually command a higher price.
  • Labour and Fabrication Costs:
    Most dental procedures are labour-intensive. This is especially true for dental crowns, which require a high level of craftsmanship. The dentist’s and dental lab’s proficiency and time contribute to the cost. More complex crown designs, such as those requiring intricate shading or shaping, can be more costly.
  • Condition of the Natural Tooth:
    The state of the tooth to be crowned can affect the price. If extensive preparatory work is needed, this will have an additional cost. These may include treatments such as a root canal treatment or gum surgery before fitting a crown.
  • Geographical Location:
    The cost of living and operating a dental clinic varies by location. Clinics in urban areas or regions with a higher cost of living usually charge more for dental crown procedures.
  • Dentist’s Experience:
    The experience and reputation of the dentist can influence the operational cost. Highly regarded professionals with decades of experience or those in private practice settings may charge more for their services. However, opting for services from experienced dentists can make you feel you’re in safe hands.
  • Dental Plans and Health Funds:
    Dental plans or health funds can impact each patient’s out-of-pocket cost. However, dental health funds may not include all types of crowns or may only pay a portion of the cost. It’s important to be familiar with your policy’s specifics.

Each of these factors contributes to the final cost of a dental crown. Patients need to discuss these aspects in detail with their dentist to get a clear understanding of the expected expenses. By considering these factors, patients can make more informed choices about dental crown quality and price, which can help in planning financially.

Navigating Health Fund Cover for Dental Crowns

Understanding how health funds pay for dental crowns can significantly affect the financial aspect of this dental treatment. For many patients, familiarising with their health fund policies is an important step in managing the costs associated with dental crowns.

Health funds often cover dental crown costs. However, the extent of this coverage varies significantly between policies and providers. Several factors influence the amount paid.

  • Level of Assistance:
    Health funds offer various levels of dental assistance. Some may provide comprehensive assistance that includes major dental work like crowns. Others might only pay for general dental treatments. It’s crucial to check your policy’s details to understand your level of assistance.
  • Waiting Periods:
    Many health fund policies have waiting periods for dental procedures. You might need to be a member of the fund for a specific period before you can claim benefits.
  • Annual Limits:
    Policies often have annual limits on how much you can claim for dental treatments. You may need to pay for some of the cost yourself, depending on these limits and the cost of treatment.
  • Preferred Providers:
    Some health funds have agreements with specific dental clinics, offering higher discounts if you use these “preferred providers.” Choosing a dentist within this network can reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Gap Payments:
    Even with health funds, there might be a difference between what your dentist charges and what your provider pays. This is known as the “gap.” Get a clear estimate from your dentist and check with your health fund to understand any potential gap payments.

Using health funds for dental crowns can significantly reduce the overall cost. By understanding the specifics of your policy, you can make informed choices and fully take advantage of your benefits.

Exploring Payment Options for Your Dental Crown

Finding a suitable payment option for a dental crown is as important as choosing the right type of crown. Recognising that dental procedures can be a significant investment, many dental clinics offer various payment options. This is to make the dental process more manageable for their patients.

  • Payment Plans:
    One common option is payment plans. These plans allow patients to pay for their dental crowns over time rather than all at once. Depending on the clinic’s policies and the terms agreed upon, payment plans can be interest-free. This option is particularly helpful for those who need immediate dental care but cannot afford the full cost upfront.
  • Financing:
    Another avenue to explore is financing options. Some dental clinics partner with financial services to offer loans for medical procedures, including dental crowns. These loans usually have to be repaid over a set period, and the interest rates vary based on the provider and the patient’s credit history.
  • Government Assistance:
    Subsidies or government assistance may be available for eligible individuals. Certain dental treatments in the country might be included in these schemes. These could include the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) for children or public dental services for low-income adults. However, these schemes usually have eligibility criteria and may not pay for the entire cost of a dental crown.
  • Discounts and Special Offers:
    Some clinics also offer discounts for upfront payments or special offers for new patients. It’s advisable to discuss all available options with your dental clinic. This is to understand what financial assistance, discounts, or plans they can provide.

Understanding the different payment options available for your dental crown can make your dental care journey more manageable. Whether it’s through a payment plan, financing, subsidies, or other means, there are ways to alleviate the financial burden. All of these will result in a financially comfortable treatment experience.

The Value of a Crown Beyond the Price Tag

When considering a dental crown, look beyond the initial cost and understand the long-term value it offers. A dental crown is an investment in your oral health and overall well-being.

  • Restoration and Protection:
    Crowns are sturdy and durable restorations. They protect the tooth from further decay, damage, and the potential need for more extensive dental work. This protection is particularly important for teeth that have undergone significant treatments, like root canal treatment or those with large dental fillings, as it helps maintain longevity and the health of the tooth.
  • Aesthetic Improvement:
    Apart from functional benefits, dental crowns offer significant aesthetic advantages. They improve the appearance of discoloured, cracked, or misshapen teeth, enhancing your smile and boosting your confidence. A well-made and properly fitted crown is virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth, seamlessly blending with your natural smile.
  • Longevity:
    Your choice of material will affect the cost of your procedure. However, it’s important to note that investing in a high-quality dental crown can be cost-effective in the long run. You wouldn’t want to compromise on quality with this type of treatment. With proper care and maintenance, crowns can last many years, reducing the need for frequent replacements or additional dental work.

Dental crown quality and price extend beyond their material cost. It lies in their ability to improve your quality of life, provide peace of mind, and offer a long-term result. As you weigh the costs against these benefits, consider the comprehensive impact a dental crown can have on your oral health.

Aesthetic Considerations

Dental crowns offer several aesthetic benefits that can significantly improve one’s smile and boost confidence. Here are the key points:

  • Natural Appearance:
    Modern dental crowns are designed to closely mimic the appearance of teeth. They can be customised to match the colour, size, and shape of your surrounding teeth for seamless integration.
  • Addressing Imperfections:
    Crowns address various dental imperfections, including cracked, chipped, or discoloured teeth. By addressing these flaws, crowns help create a more uniform and appealing smile.
  • Improving Tooth Alignment and Shape:
    In some cases, dental crowns can be used to make adjustments to tooth alignment or shape. They offer a less invasive alternative to orthodontics for minor misalignments.
  • Enhancing Smile Symmetry:
    Crowns can balance the symmetry of your smile, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing and harmonious appearance.
  • Boosting Self-Esteem:
    A beautiful smile can significantly impact self-esteem and confidence. Dental crowns can improve the aesthetic aspects of teeth, contributing to a positive self-image. They can also enhance social and professional interactions.

The aesthetic benefits of dental crowns make them a popular choice for individuals looking to improve their smile. Beyond their functional role in restoring dental health, crowns offer a valuable opportunity to achieve a more confident smile.

Maximising Your Investment through Crown Care and Maintenance

Proper care and maintenance are essential to the longevity and effectiveness of your dental crown. A well-maintained crown can last many years, providing continuous protection and aesthetic enhancement to your tooth.

  • Oral Hygiene Practices:
    Firstly, maintaining good oral hygiene is paramount. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily are as important for crowned teeth as for natural teeth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to avoid scratching the surface of the crown. When flossing, be gentle around the crowned tooth to prevent dislodging the crown.
  • Regular Check-Ups:
    These visits allow your dentist to monitor the condition of your crown and address any issues early. Professional cleanings help remove plaque and tartar that can accumulate around the crown. These accumulations can potentially result in gum disease or tooth decay in the remaining natural part of the tooth.
  • Avoid Damaging Habits:
    It’s important to avoid habits that can damage your crown. These include biting on hard objects, chewing ice, or using your teeth as tools. These actions can cause chips or cracks in the crown. If you grind or clench your teeth, consider getting a nightguard. This will protect both your natural teeth and the crown from excessive wear.
  • Be Cautious with Sticky or Hard Foods:
    Be mindful of foods that are extremely sticky or hard, as they can pull on or damage the crown. This includes hard candies, caramels, popcorn, and taffy. While crowns are durable, taking care of them maintains their longevity.

Taking care of your dental crown involves simple yet effective practices. This care protects your dental health investment.

Dental Crowns vs. Other Dental Treatments

It’s important to understand how dental crowns compare to other options, both in terms of their purpose and cost. This comparison can help you make a more informed decision about which treatment is suited for your needs.

  • Dental Crowns:
    Crowns encase and protect a damaged tooth, restoring its shape, strength, and appearance. They’re ideal for teeth weakened by decay, a large filling, or a root canal treatment. The cost of dental crowns varies depending on the material.
  • Dental Fillings:
    Fillings are used to restore a tooth that has been affected by decay. The cost is generally lower than that of a crown and depends on the filling material. Amalgam filling is usually less expensive than composite resin.
  • Dental Implants:
    Implants replace an entire missing tooth and are a more invasive and expensive option than crowns. They involve surgically implanting a metal post into the jawbone, which serves as a foundation for a false tooth (crown). Quality implants are for the long term but can cost more due to the surgery and materials involved.
  • Dental Bridges:
    Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of crowns attached to teeth on either side of the gap and a false tooth in between. The cost of a bridge can be higher than a single crown but less than implants. It depends on the number of teeth involved and the materials used.
  • Veneers:
    Veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite resin that are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. They are mainly used for cosmetic purposes, such as addressing discoloured, chipped, or misaligned teeth. Veneers usually cost less than crowns but are not as comprehensive in terms of restoring tooth functionality.

Each of these treatments has its specific indications, advantages, and cost variations. Consulting with your dentist will help you understand the suitable option for your situation.

Is a Dental Crown Right for You?

Deciding whether a dental crown is the right choice for you involves considering several factors. This includes your dental health needs, aesthetic goals, and financial situation. Understanding when a dental crown is recommended can help you assess its suitability for your specific case.

  • Dental Health Needs:
    You may be eligible for a dental crown if your tooth is significantly weakened or damaged. This could be due to extensive decay, a large filling, a crack, or root canal treatment. Crowns provide strength and protection to such teeth, preventing further damage.
  • Aesthetic Goals:
    If you are concerned about the appearance of your teeth, crowns can also be a suitable choice. They improve the aesthetics of teeth that are discoloured, poorly shaped, or slightly misaligned since they can match the colour and shape of your natural teeth. This helps to enhance your smile and boost your confidence.
  • Financial Situation:
    While quality crowns are durable, they require a financial investment. The material chosen for the crown, along with the complexity of your case, will influence the cost. Although affordable dental crown options are available, consider whether this investment aligns with your budget and long-term dental health goals.
  • Irreversible:
    A prepared tooth needs to be protected with a crown or similar restoration. This may result in the need for additional treatments and future costs, especially if the initial crown needs to be replaced. Therefore, it’s important to discuss the potential benefits and implications of getting a crown with your dentist.

A thorough consultation with your dentist will help you determine if a crown is suitable for your dental needs. The decision is not based on appearance or cost. You should take into account the cost and value of dental crowns when preserving your oral health.

Final Thoughts

The decision to choose a dental crown involves careful consideration of several factors, including your specific dental needs, aesthetic desires, and financial situation.

If you’re contemplating whether a dental crown is suitable for you, the next step is to seek professional advice. Karrinyup Dental Centre offers personalised consultations to help you understand your options and make an informed choice.

We invite you to schedule an initial consultation appointment. Let’s discuss your dental health needs and explore the benefits that a dental crown can offer you. Our dental team is here to support you on your journey to optimal oral health.

For more information or to book an appointment, please visit the Karrinyup Dental Centre website or call our clinic.

Dr. Justin Soon


Dr. Justin Soon

Dr. Justin completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the University of Western Australia. Dr Justin completed his surgical implant training under the mentorship of Dr. Glen Liddelow, Dr. Graham Carmichael, and Dr. Brent Allan at the Branemark Centre.

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