Are you due to change out old, worn-out dental work? Perhaps you have a large filling that’s been there for 10-15 years and it’s starting to leak. Or maybe there’s a tooth that needs to be extracted, but you’re trying to settle on the best way to replace it before you plan to have it removed. Ceramic crowns and bridges in Raleigh are a great way to restore your smile both functionally and aesthetically. But if you’re wondering whether you can afford cosmetic crowns, bridges, or other dental work, the hold-up could actually contribute to other secondary concerns.
Here’s what you need to know about the cost of porcelain crowns and bridges in Raleigh.
Do Ceramic Crowns and Bridges Cost More?
Some of the materials associated with dental work can fluctuate in cost, based on current market values. Gold is a prime example. But today’s dental ceramics and porcelain restorations tend to be fairly straightforward in regard to pricing.
Years ago, you might see a significant price difference between a ceramic crown and one that was made out of another material. Today that price margin has narrowed considerably. Although a cosmetic crown or bridge may be slightly more, the modest investment provides you with priceless aesthetic advantages. For example, a solid ceramic crown completely eliminates the potential risk of a grey line or margin along your gums, if a small amount of metal becomes visible. The idea is to provide you with a durable restoration that looks and feels as natural as possible so that you can smile with confidence.
What Other Types of Crowns and Bridges are Available?
Aside from being able to afford cosmetic crowns and bridges, there are also gold, porcelain fused to metal, other precious metal restorations, and temporary white or silver crowns to consider.
Temporary stainless steel or composite crowns are typically used after your tooth has been prepped and you’re waiting for the durable, porcelain version to be crafted in the lab. They’re not meant for long-term wear, as the weaker materials or looser margins won’t provide your tooth with the level of protection it needs. But they work well on a short-term basis. We also offer in-house CEREC same-day crowns.
Gold crowns are ideal when a tooth is experiencing heavy amounts of pressure, such as a back molar used for chewing. Since gold is pliable, it’s able to flex when needed, eliminating any risk of fractures or chipping. If a gold crown is recommended, we typically only place them on upper back teeth that won’t be visible when you’re smiling.
Will a Porcelain Crown or Bridge Last Long?
All of our ceramic crowns and bridges are designed to last for several years. To ensure that your restoration lasts as long as possible, you’ll need to be sure to floss around your crown or bridge daily to keep the margins clean. A lot of people are concerned that flossing might pull their restoration off, but the bonding agent that keeps it attached to the tooth is not that weak. The key is to routinely remove plaque along the edges of your crown or bridge before it has a chance to erode the tooth at that location. Otherwise, bacteria can seep up underneath your restoration, causing new decay and failure of the overall treatment.
Another thing to keep in mind is excessive wear from clenching or teeth grinding. We recommend investing in a nightguard to sleep in, to take any unnecessary pressure away from your dental work. If the bite splint wears out, it can easily be replaced.
Are Other Materials More Durable than Porcelain?
Today’s dental materials are extremely durable while also attractive. As ceramic crowns and bridges have been improved over the years, the materials have become stronger. It’s not as common to see fracturing or breakage in the porcelains as you might in an earlier generation crown where teeth grinding is involved.
With varying levels of ceramics available, our Raleigh cosmetic dentists can help you select the one that’s most durable for your unique concerns. Although gold is still one of the most highly durable dental materials, it does pose an aesthetic challenge. Fortunately, cosmetic ceramics in today’s dental offices now provide a simple alternative when extra-durable materials are required.
Can I Afford Cosmetic Crowns vs. White Filling
One of the most common questions our Raleigh dentists hear is, “Can I just get a filling instead of a crown?” Since white fillings are generally “cheaper” compared to a custom lab-made porcelain crown, it’s an honest concern that is worth understanding. Why get a crown if you could just get a cheaper filling?
The truth is that there comes a point in a tooth’s integrity where a filling can no longer help hold it together. If there’s only a shell of enamel left or a certain percentage of the tooth is compromised by damage, putting a filling into the middle of it will only set it up for further breakage once pressure is applied.
In contrast, investing in a protective ceramic crown means you have a “cap” or cover encasing the weakened tooth underneath. By distributing the biting pressure evenly across the restoration, the lifespan of your tooth can be prolonged for a far greater length of time.
Cost of a Porcelain Bridge vs. Dental Implant
Replacement options for missing teeth typically include the choice between a dental implant or a fixed dental bridge. While investing in an implant (and corresponding dental crown) can provide the best long-term return on investment, they may not be an option for everyone. Up-front, the price of a dental bridge may be about the same or less than that of an implant and crown.
Realistically, implants and bridges are often used alongside one another. Especially when several teeth are missing in one area of your mouth. By placing a pair of implants and topping them off with a multi-tooth ceramic bridge, you can reduce the number of implants necessary and avoid wearing a partial denture.
Does Insurance Cover My Crown or Bridge Cost?
Every dental insurance policy is different. Even if you and your best friend carry a dental plan through the same exact carrier (like Aetna, Cigna, Delta Dental, etc.) the specificities of your coverage will not be the same. Each plan is tailored to the entity or individual enrolling in the policy. So for example, if you get your dental insurance from your employer as a benefit, the HR department would be the one that negotiates the coverage on behalf of their employees.
All of that being said, almost all dental insurance plans will provide at least some type of coverage to help you afford cosmetic crowns and bridges. It’s just that things like the tiers of coverage, deductibles, and annual maximums will need to be identified before quoting the exact dollar amount that they’re expected to cover.
At Raleigh Dental Arts, our insurance coordinators will provide a breakdown of your estimated benefits package so that you can see an itemized plan of how much your insurance will pay for a new crown or bridge.
Are There Other Costs to Keep in Mind?
Numerous factors can go into the total cost of a crown or bridge, including which teeth it’s being placed on, the type of ceramics chosen, and the lab where it’s being made. If you choose to have your restorative treatment performed under dental sedation, the cost of the sedation package will be separate from that of the crown or bridge procedure.
Occasionally there will be teeth that require a “build-up” or even a root canal before the crown or bridge can be affixed to it. These therapies are coded and charged separately as part of your restorative treatment.
The Price of Waiting to Get a Crown or Bridge
Maybe you’re “holding off” on getting that new crown or bridge. If nothing hurts or is giving you a problem, why the rush…right?! Not necessarily. Weak or compromised teeth at a much higher risk of breaking apart and then requiring more aggressive care to restore them. So you’re actually saving yourself money by treating issues earlier, as opposed to waiting until there seems to be a problem.
But what about missing teeth? Since bridges fill in the gap created by a missing tooth, you may not be in a rush if the space isn’t visible. But the other you wait, the more the adjacent and opposing teeth will start to drift out of alignment. If you wait too long to replace the tooth, getting a bridge or dental implant may no longer be an option.
Afford Cosmetic Crowns, Bridges in Raleigh
Raleigh Dental Arts provides restorative and cosmetic dentistry near you, using the finest materials. Our quality restorations are meant to last for years, providing you with the integrity your bite needs to get through each day. By partnering with reputable labs, we can tailor your new porcelain crown or bridge to match the neighboring teeth in a natural, attractive manner.
Do you need a new crown or bridge? Contact the cosmetic dentists at Raleigh Dental Arts today to reserve your next appointment.