Dental health is one of the key medical issues that inseparable goes hand in hand with society’s basic conventions of beauty. Hence, people who wish to have their teeth fixed do so because they both want to look and feel good. Whether it is a result of poor oral care or trauma, losing a tooth is just as bad as it can get.
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, more than 35 million people in the United States are missing all their teeth in one or both jaws. Within this huge population, only 15 million Americans acquire dental crowns and bridge replacements for missing teeth. Now, this seems to be a curious picture.
Dental crown surgery is simple enough to yield a 98% success rate for any dental professional. Hence, it is highly unlikely to point at the complexity of the procedure or the lack of streamlined scientific literature as the culprit for contributing to the gap in the supply and demand. In fact, the demand for dental implants and prosthetics is still big enough to generate a 6.4 billion dollar (USD) industry by the year 2018. Therefore, one can consider the average cost of a crown among the crucial reasons as to why only less than half of the 35 million people with missing teeth are able to get this particular problem fixed.
Nationwide Out-of-pocket Cost
When it comes to verifying the average cost of the crown, the most reliable modifier can be derived from the type of material used. Here is a list of nationwide estimated fees:
- Precious metal or gold crown tooth cost: $765 to $1,440
- Non-precious metal crown tooth cost: $675 to $1,320
- Porcelain-fused precious metal crown tooth cost: $845 to $1,550
- Porcelain-fused non-precious metal crown tooth cost: $778 to $1,310
- All-ceramic dental crown tooth cost: $850 to $1,580
The price ranges are often determined by the volume of material used to complete the tooth replacement. With a precise measurement of the patient’s missing tooth, the attending physicians depend solely on dental laboratories to manufacture these crowns. These are the following dental laboratory fees added into the patient’s overall bills:
- Precious metal lab cost: $145 to $165
- Non-precious metal lab cost: $55 to $65
- Porcelain-fused precious metal lab cost: $135 to $155
- Porcelain-fused non-precious metal lab cost: $80 to $120
- All ceramic lab cost: $100 to $150
Considering the relatively enormous out-of-pocket cost, a smart consumer is often compelled to embrace certain alternatives that can help lighten the weight of the budget. One should explore the following alternatives mentioned in the succeeding part of the article.
Estimated Cost with Insurance
So, how much does a crown cost with insurance? The answer lies in knowing the right calculation given that ballpark figures are highly unpredictable. And the standard formula is:
- Unit price x Number of units = Total charges
- Total charges – Policy deductible = Deducted fee
- Deducted fee x 50% coverage = Insurance benefit
- Total charges – Insurance benefit = Total cost w/ insurance
Let’s say a patient requires two gold crowns. Here is the expected precise fee if one should use $100-worth policy deductible and the roughly estimated $1,700 per gold crown tooth cost as standard modifiers:
- $3,400 – $100 = $3,300
- $3,300 x 0.5 = $1,650
- $3,400 – $1,650 = $1,750
For consumer patients who pay a typical insurance fee worth $350 per year, the total cost of getting 2 gold crowns with insurance is now reduced to $1,750.
However, it is important to take note that paying for dental crowns with insurance is not that simple. The most persistent complication lies at the maximum limit for insurance benefit. Case in point: the 2017 Family Dental Plans can only allow coverage for as much as $1,500 insurance benefit per year for adults.
About Dental Savings Plan
Considering the question, how much does a crown cost with insurance? An easier option for many consumers is availing for a ‘dental savings plan.’ Unlike insurance, annual savings plan memberships offer around 25% to 50% discount for all dental operations.
The obvious comparative advantage for this option is that there is no such thing as benefit limit. No matter how much the dental crown operation costs per year, the entire fee will still be covered based on the percentage offered by the plan provider. Another crucial advantage for dental savings plans is that rebates are directly coursed through the attending dentists, hence removing the hassle of billing details being routed to the insurance companies.
Dental School Search: Prosthodontics
Another suitable option that neither involves annual insurance or savings plans is getting dental crowns from schools instead of clinics. Trainees require hands-on experience and being able to render credited hours of successful procedures is crucial to acquiring their professional license. Since trainees are not yet licensed dental professionals, their service fees are significantly reduced compared to the price charged by experienced dentists.
The Commission of Dental Accreditation identifies up to 48 certified schools in the United States that specialize in prosthetic dental surgeries. Considering all the possible options listed, the best state to search for academic institutions is Texas. As one of the top 5 states with the lowest dental treatment cost in 2017, Texas currently has a total of 5 reliable prosthodontic institutions.
Dental Crowns Abroad
One of the aspects that justify the relatively hefty average dental crown cost in the United States is the lab fee. However, an article published by Dental Departures reveal an insidious practice that allows dentists to significantly increase their profit. In this particular case, some dentists send their lab work overseas to save operational expenses. What does this mean?
It only means that cheaper dental services abroad are just as reliable (or at times even better) as it is in America. Travelers often include dental services, as well as other types of standard medical operations, in their overseas itinerary. Medigo underscores a list of foreign nations with highly inexpensive starting costs for dental crowns:
- Hungary: from $52
- Turkey: from $85
- Mexico: from $120
- Poland: from $153
- Malaysia: from $164
- Spain: from $177
- Thailand: from $201
- Croatia: $235
- UAE: from $265
- Morocco: from $283
- Costa Rica: from $300
- Germany: from $354