What Goes Into the Cost of Dental Crowns?

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what goes into the cost of dental crowns

Whether dental crowns in NW Calgary are appropriate for you depends on a lot of different factors. Those factors range from the specific condition of your teeth, your medical and dental history, and what is revealed by dental imaging and a careful inspection of your teeth by a dentist near you.

Even assuming your dentist’s assessments confirm that you are a good candidate for dental crowns, there are other factors to consider, including cost. There’s no denying that dental services and solutions for oral health needs can be expensive, particularly depending on whether you have available insurance coverage. While making decisions about what treatment options to pursue, including whether or not to opt for dental crowns near you, you should know the most accurate information about what goes into the cost of dental crowns.

The formula

The cost of many dental procedures comes down to a three-part formula. Under that formula, the Total Cost of a Dental Crown equals your dentist’s Professional Fee plus Dental Laboratory Fees plus Additional Materials Expenses. The purpose of this article is to explain each element of that formula so you can understand how your dentist in NW Calgary comes up with the estimated cost of your crown.

The professional fee charged by a dentist near you

The professional fee is the amount you are charged by your dentist in NW Calgary for the services involved in providing a crown, primarily their work to prepare your tooth. Professional fees charged by Alberta’s dentists are guided by the Alberta Dental Association’s annual Alberta Dental Fee Guides. The recommended professional fee may vary under certain circumstances, including on the material to be used (more on that later). While most dentists follow the Association’s guide when providing dental crowns in NW Calgary, dentists should tell you if they don’t follow that guide. As you consider the cost of your potential crowns, ask your dentist if they follow the Association’s guide.

Dental laboratory fees

The professional fee generally covers the services provided to prepare your tooth for a crown. They do not include the cost of actually making the crown which will be placed over that tooth. The cost of actually making the physical crown that will be placed in your mouth is called the dental laboratory fee. Those costs are charged to your dentist, and passed along to you as part of your dentist’s total fee for their services.

Materials options

Dental crowns are made from four different types of materials: metal, porcelain fused to metal (PFM), ceramic, and zirconia.

Metal crowns are the most expensive, with wide variation depending on what type of metal is used. Precious metals such as palladium, platinum and gold are the most expensive option. Metal crowns made from non-precious metals (cobalt-chromium or nickel-chromium alloys) are less expensive alternatives to crowns made of precious metals.

Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns are built with a veneer of porcelain over a metal structure are less expensive than full metal crowns, but involve higher labour costs to make sure the porcelain looks natural when it is complete. For that reason, porcelain crowns can be approximately as expensive as metal crowns.

The least expensive and newest variety of crowns are all-ceramic and zirconia crowns designed and manufactured based on computer aided design (CAD) and manufacturing (CAM).

Each material option has advantages and disadvantages that may make them especially appropriate or inappropriate for your situation. A dentist near you will explain those factors and how they may affect the total cost.

Additional materials expenses

The final element of the formula is the cost of any additional materials over and above those referred to above. While “additional materials” over and above the materials discussed above are not common in the case of dental crowns, the laboratory or your dentist will pass along the cost of any additional materials they require to prepare and place your crowns that were not included in the professional or laboratory fee.

With this information in hand, don’t hesitate to discuss the cost of dental crowns in NW Calgary with your dentist, and with your insurer if you have insurance coverage. While considering the cost of crowns, be sure to consider the costs of not receiving recommended dental treatment as well.

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Rest assured that we have taken steps above what was required. After all, your health is our highest priority. We are finally OPEN and look forward to seeing you again soon!


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Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of transition to the new normal.

Your Dental Team