You’ve probably felt it: after biting something as hard as a popcorn kernel, you suddenly notice a piece of a tooth floating around your mouth. You know you’ll need to schedule an appointment for the dentist and that you’ll probably need a crown.

If you have dental insurance, you’re glad because the plan will help cover the cost.

But if you don’t have dental coverage, you will probably wish you did.

So how much does a crown cost? Review the following information to find out and determine for yourself whether dental insurance is worth the cost.

Crowns and root canals

If you have a tooth that’s cracked or has a large cavity, the dentist may recommend putting on a crown to protect it. After cleaning out the decay and stabilizing the tooth, the dentist will apply the crown. A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that fits over the tooth. Typically, crowns are made of stainless steel or another metal, resin, ceramic, porcelain fused to metal or tooth-color composite. The dentist will take several dental impressions to ensure the crown fits correctly in your mouth.

If you have a missing tooth, the dentist may make a bridge to fill in the space. The bridge is held in place by a crown that fits on the teeth on either side of the missing tooth.

The cost of a crown varies, depending on where you live and the type of material used. The range in cost for a crown is $800 to $1,700. Dental insurance usually covers a portion of the cost, which makes a crown more affordable. People without dental insurance will pay the cost out of their own pocket. Depending on their budget, they may have to wait to save for the expense, delaying timely treatment and oral care. Check out our out-of-network dental cost estimator and find out the cost range for a crown and a variety of other dental procedures based on your ZIP code.

Sometimes before putting on a crown, the dentist needs to do a root canal to remove decay deep under the tooth in the roots. Usually, the tooth is painful when chewing foods or drinking hot or cold beverages. The cost of a root canal depends on the severity of the decay and if a dental specialist, such as an endodontist, provides the treatment. On average, the cost is between $762 and $1,111.

Dental insurance: is it worth it?

The cost of dental insurance is a low monthly fee. If your employer provides dental benefits, you may pay a portion of the monthly cost. But if you don’t have access to employer benefits, you still can get an individual dental plan through a reliable insurance carrier. With individual dental insurance, you have coverage the same day you sign up. You can immediately use the plan for preventive care and covered basic procedures. But there may be a waiting period for major expenses, such as crowns, bridges or root canals.

Overall, dental insurance provides good value in terms of cost savings. The plan should cover the cost of an annual dental checkup and professional teeth cleaning. This annual exam will help the dentist detect early signs of oral health problems. You also will have the security of knowing your plan will help pay for fillings, crowns and root canals. Without dental insurance, you’ll need to pay for the costs using your savings or a credit card.

Source: Ameritas

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