Dental crowns are a robust restorative dental procedure that maintains the integrity and longevity of the natural tooth. It is a dental prosthesis that replicates the shape, size, and color of the tooth of interest. Moreover, it helps to provide a natural-looking smile.
While dental crowns are an excellent option to repair a damaged tooth, it might not be the only option to choose from. There can be multiple treatments and approaches to fix a damaged tooth. Some of the dental crown alternatives include onlay, provisional treatment, tooth filling, and in the severely damaged tooth, tooth extraction.
The choice of treatment depends on the extent of damage and location of the tooth. A dentist may evaluate and assess the dental condition of the patient to provide the best options. Today’s article will highlight the best alternatives for a dental crown. Moreover, we will discuss the factors that you must consider before getting dental treatment.
What are dental crowns?
A dental crown is a prosthesis which replicates the shape, size, and color of any tooth in the mouth. Moreover, it acts like a cap that covers the damaged tooth and increases its life span. Dental crowns are typically made from a wide range of materials such as gold, metal, porcelain, and resin. (1)
Some of the common dental conditions where a crown is a viable option include –
- Cracked tooth
- Weak tooth
- Post-root canal treatment
- Tooth crown fracture
- Over an implant
- As a part of a dental bridge unit
- Chipped old restorations
- Restoration of front teeth
What are the alternatives for a dental crown?
There are several alternatives for a dental crown. We will be discussing the five top options that are effective in replacing dental crown as a treatment option –
Onlays, especially porcelain onlays, are a better alternative to a dental crown. Some of the reasons for onlays being a superior choice of treatment include –
- Preservation of the natural tooth structure, leading to a healthier mouth.
- while preserving the tooth enamel, the porcelain onlay bond’s well with it forming a seal to avoid fractures (2)
while onlay has some beneficial values, it also comes with the challenge of having a high dental skill level. Moreover, this procedure is slightly time-consuming. However, choosing the right dentist can help you overcome such challenges and enjoy onlay. The treatment cost of onlay generally ranges from $650 to $1,200 per tooth.
Provisional crowns are typically an in-office fabricated crown. The temporary crown is usually bonded to the tooth until the final restoration is fabricated, or the patient can afford a more definitive treatment.
One of the downfalls of the provisional crown is that they are only temporary. On average, an interim crown may last up to 3-9 months. There is a high risk of losing the tooth if the provisional crown is used for a longer duration. (3)
The cost of the provisional veneer may come across $200 to $700.
Veneer treatment is a cosmetic dental procedure performed by placing thin shells of porcelain or composite on the surface of the front teeth. Several factors determine the placement of a veneer.
Veneers typically cover only the front surface of the teeth, and they’re usually used for cosmetic purposes. The advantage of placing a veneer instead of a dental crown is that less tooth structure needs to be trimmed. It also depends on the extent of the damage; a veneer may not provide the right kind of support to a severely broken tooth. veneers can cost an average of $925 to $2,500 per tooth(4)
In-office lab Indirect Resin Crowns
in the office lab, indirect resin crowns are an excellent option for a short-term alternative to a dental crown. Typically, an indirect resin crown is made from resin. As the name suggests, the dentist’s indirect resin crown is made in the office and finished on the same day. The cost of this treatment may range between $400-600.
Tooth extraction is one of the cheapest and most straightforward alternatives to a dental crown. However, it comes with the risk of losing a natural tooth and replacing it with a more extensive dental treatment. Moreover, when a tooth is extracted, the surrounding teeth shift and impact a person’s ability to chew. However, many people go forward with this option to stay away from the misery of tooth pain. The cost of tooth extraction may range between $75 to $300 for non-surgical tooth extraction and $150 to $650 for surgical removal. (5)
What factors should you consider before getting an alternative?
Some of the factors you must consider before getting a restorative dental treatment are –
- know the reason for getting a dental crown – usually, If a tooth hurts when you bite down, your tooth may be cracked. A cracked tooth is often a severe condition that requires a dental crown. Additionally, dental conditions like vertical cracks till the gum line may need a full-coverage crown. Many people also go for the dental crown to cover tooth discolorations.
- Ask the dentist for all the alternatives – while a crown may be one good option, there can be others too. For example, you might choose to get a filling instead of a dental crown. Therefore, always be aware of the alternatives and weigh your options accordingly.
- Take your time to decide – it is okay to take some time to determine the best treatment option.
Take away message
Dental crowns are one of the best tooth restorative options. However, they are not the only treatment that can be used to replace a damaged tooth. Depending on the extent of damage, the tooth’s location, and the dentist’s expertise, there can be several alternative treatments for a dental crown.
Some of these alternatives include onlay, provisional crown, in-office resin crown, and tooth extraction. It is essential to know about all the available options before starting a procedure to analyze and understand which treatment would give you long-term benefits at a cheaper cost.
Always consult your dentist before undergoing any treatment to discuss the various options and choose the best among them.