What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a form of permanent tooth replacement that is used to restore a tooth whenever a significant piece of it is removed as part of an invasive procedure. The very first dental crowns were made out of metal or even gold and were easily distinguishable from healthy teeth. Over the past few decades, dental...
A dental crown is a form of permanent tooth replacement that is used to restore a tooth whenever a significant piece of it is removed as part of an invasive procedure. The very first dental crowns were made out of metal or even gold and were easily distinguishable from healthy teeth. Over the past few decades, dental medicine has fortunately made significant progress and produced numerous much better and more aesthetically pleasing crown types. Some of the most frequently used ones are:
* Porcelain-fused to Metal Crown – A tooth cap made out of metal and with a ceramic coat on top to make sure that it is almost impossible to differentiate from healthy teeth. The only characteristic that gives this type of crown away is a narrow metal edge close to the gum line.
* Zirconium Crown – A completely metal-free tooth cap with a ceramic coat on top that does not have any metal edges along the gum line.
* Ceramic Crown – A 100% metal-free tooth cap that virtually completely blends in with healthy teeth. Usually used on canine teeth and incisors for which aesthetics are a top priority.
When do I need a dental crown?
A dental crown needs to be placed to avoid potential reinfections when dental fillings and/or inlays are not enough to completely seal off a previously treated tooth. Such crowns are often used for teeth that have undergone root canal procedures but are also frequently found as parts of dental bridges. Dental crowns are particularly useful for:
* Stabilizing teeth that are at a high risk of crumbling/chipping/breaking
* Protecting teeth with large fillings
* Fixing detachable parts of dentures, dental prostheses, and other tooth replacements
How much does a dental crown cost?
A dental crown can cost between € 300 and € 1.000 depending on the materials used and the particular amount of effort that is required for placement from the dentist.
Currently, insurers in Vienna and Austria provide a benefit payment only for metal crowns as part of their basic coverage packages. The differential between this benefit payment and the total cost of a crown has to be borne by the patient in the form of out-of-pocket costs (up to 80%+). The benefit payment amount and, conversely, the out-of-pocket cost amount for the patient vary depending on type and location of a treated tooth – in general, insurers pay less for non-visible posterior teeth and molars. Due to the long lifetime of dental crowns, insurers cover the manufacture of a new crown for any given tooth only once every 6 years. Also important to note is the fact that dentists in Austria can freely set pricing for fixed tooth replacements (incl. dental crowns), which has a direct impact on the amount that a patient may have to pay out-of-pocket. Fortunately, in Austria there is a 2-year guarantee for tooth replacements, meaning that dentists are obligated to replace any dental crowns that break within a 2-year period after placement for free.
We hope that you found this primer helpful and invite you to take a look at our related blog post for more information.