Tag Archives: dental crown

One-Day Versus Traditional Crowns?

I need to get a dental crown but am a bit short on money. I’ve been looking at both traditional crowns and those one-day crowns. I’m hoping the one day crowns are less expensive because they only take one appointment, but it is for a front tooth, so I want to make sure the one-day crowns are just as good as the old-fashioned ones.


Dear Sara,

Dental crown being placed on a tooth

I’m glad you wrote. The truth is that both a traditional crown as well as a CEREC crown will cost about the same amount. Yes, it is true that the CEREC crown takes only one appointment as opposed to the traditional crown, however the CEREC machine costs a dentist about $150,000. That is a huge expense to cover, so dentists will generally spread that out in the cost of the crowns.

The quality of the crowns is about the same either way. However, because you are needing this crown on a front tooth, I highly recommend that you get a traditional crown. Same day crowns are milled out of a single block of porcelain. Our natural teeth have variations in their color and opacity. That is why with traditional crowns dentists use more than one block of porcelain so they can get all those subtle differences in there.

This doesn’t mean you still can’t get an affordable dental crown. The key, however, is not in the type of crown as much as the dentist that makes the difference in the price. If you are looking for an affordable dental crown, I would look for an affordable dentist. They are much more likely to have reasonable prices, as well as allow you to make payments instead of paying for everything up front. You can generally find them by doing an internet search for the term “affordable dentist”. I hope this helps.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.

I Hate My Smile but Have No Money to Fix It

I never got to go to the dentist growing up. My teeth are mostly healthy, though there is one cavity I haven’t taken care of yet. My bigger problem is how my smile looks. These days, everyone is expected to have a celebrity smile and I feel like some kind of imp that needs to hide in a cave.

I priced porcelain veneers, which is what everyone says is the procedure for smile makeovers. The cost is astronomical. If I owned a house, I’d have to sell it. Is there any affordable way to get a pretty smile?


Dear Amanda,

Teeth whitening trays
Teeth Whitening Trays

While porcelain veneers are a fantastic way to improve the appearance of your smile. One of the best and most affordable things you can do to improve your smile is with teeth whitening. It can make you look decades younger (though I do not know your age). It generally only costs a few hundred dollars as opposed to the thousands of dollars needed for porcelain veneers.

It is also one of those procedures that does not require any special post-doctoral training. Pretty much any dentist can do it. That also means you can shop around and find the most affordable dentist in your area to do it. Just be sure to do it right after having a check up and cleaning. Otherwise the results will be splotchy. Most dentists require a cleaning for that reason.

I want to also address the cavity you mentioned. If you are trying to save money, taking care of this cavity right away with a dental filling is the best way to do that. Filling a cavity costs significantly less than letting it grow and need a dental crown. If it gets beyond the need for a crown, then you have to extract the tooth and pay for a tooth replacement. The most affordable dentistry is preventive dentistry.

The last thing you want is for this to turn into a dental emergency.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.

Gap Between Crown and Bridge

I have a gap between my two front teeth. One of the problems I am facing about that is that one of them is a dental crown and the other is a part of a dental bridge. Is there a way to close this gap with Lumineers or should I have them replaced?


Dear Candace,

How do you fix a gap between your teeth?

I’m going to say right off the bat that your dentist should NOT have placed these where they left a gap. He obviously does not care about appearance related dentistry. However, what is done is done and you can only move forward from here.

Typically, a dentist will fix a tooth gap by using dental bonding, but that will not work well with your dental work. There is a method that can do it but stains usually develop within a relatively short period of time.

As for Lumineers over crowns, the Lumineers company actually ran a campaign promoting that some years back that ended up flopping for reasons I’ll explain in a moment. However, even if it were a good option, I would definitely suggest you see another dentist to have it done. Your dentist does not appear to care about the aesthetics of his work, just the function. That is not a quality you want in a dentist for any type of cosmetic work. You’d want a skilled, artistic cosmetic dentist.

Bonding porcelain on porcelain, which is what would happen in the case of using Lumineers, is never as stable as bonding porcelain to natural tooth structure. Because of that you risk two sets of bonding failure. One from the original dental work and another from the Lumineers placed on top of the dental work.

When you consider it is an equal amount of work for the dentist to just remove the old dental work than it is to place new over old, you can see why the campaign failed.

That is actually what I will recommend for you. Have your dentist, or better yet a more skilled dentist, redo your dental crown and dental bridge so that there is no gap. Make sure they only use a porcelain crown on your front tooth.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.
We treat children too!

Can’t AFford This Affordable Dentist

I needed a dental crown. It was my first one and I don’t have much money. I decided to look for someone who was affordable. I did the scientific process of asking Uncle Google to find me one. Most affordable dentists were close to the same price, but I found one that was several hundred dollars cheaper than the rest of them. I thought I’d found the holy grail of dentists. But, in the five years since I’ve gotten this crown, it has needed to be replaced three times. Is that normal for a dental crown? Online it says they should last five years, but maybe that is just dentists trying to get people hopeful?


Dear Penny,

As you are unfortunately learning, not all affordable dentists are created equally. I call it the difference between an affordable dentist and a cheap dentist.

Some dentists lower their prices a great deal more than other dentists in order to draw patients in. This is usually because they are either new dentists who have not built up their patient list yet or they are a dentist that has trouble keeping patients and use their low prices to get new ones.

The problem is the cheaper the prices, the harder time they will have making ends meet. Some, less scrupulous dentists, will use substandard materials in order to make up the profits.

As for how long a dental crown should last, five years should be the minimum. Some crowns, when well taken care of, can last around fifteen years.

With the number of times you have had to replace this dental crown already, you have already paid what you would have with one of the other dentists who cost more. My guess is this affordable crown has cost you even more than that. Then, factor in all the time you’ve spent getting a new crown and I think this has been a bit of a disaster.

At this point, my recommendation is you bite the bullet and go to a different dentist to prepare your new crown. Make sure you check their reviews to see if patients have had a good experience with them or not.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.

Can’t afford to fix my teeth

I saved up to get my teeth cleaned and get some whitening done. I was disappointed when the dentist told me I needed some other work done before the whitening. I have two cavities. One of them so big I need a crown. I can’t afford this. Now, even if I find a way to pay for the work I don’t want, I can’t get my teeth whitened. I’m really disappointed. Can I get the teeth whitened, if my teeth aren’t bothering me?

Maddie K. – Florida


It must be terribly disappointing to you. Here you thought you were finally going to get a bright, new smile and instead you’re stuck spending your money on maintenance for your teeth.

Hopefully, you’re working with an affordable dentist who will work with you financially. There is a way to stage your treatment so you don’t have to pay for all of it at once. Your dentist could list the most important treatment first and work your way down. I suspect it would be the tooth that needs a crown.

Some dentists even give free teeth whitening to new patients. your dentist may be willing to cut you a deal on on the whitening at the end of your treatment, because of all hte money you’ve had to spend. I can’t speak for him or her, of course, but it won’t hurt you to ask.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.