Tooth crown health insurance

With the right extras policy in place, you can meet a chunk of the cost of your dental crown treatment.

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Without health insurance, a dental crown could set you back $2,000 or more. But with the right extras policy, you can cover a portion of the cost of your crown. Plus, make the most of other big dental treatments as well as regular check-ups and cleans.

What is a tooth crown?

A crown is a fitted cap that is placed over an entire tooth for any number of protective or cosmetic purposes including:

  • To keep a broken or cracked tooth from falling apart.
  • To reinforce a tooth that has been worn down or severely decayed.
  • To protect a vulnerable tooth from decay.
  • To serve as support on either side of a false tooth (bridge).
  • To cover up a dental implant.
  • To cover up discoloured or misshapen teeth.
  • To protect teeth that have undergone root canal.

Most crowns are made from 100% porcelain, 100% metal such as gold alloy or porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), a combination of porcelain fused to a metal base. Your dentist will attach it to the tooth using a special type of dental cement.

How much does a tooth crown cost?

A single crown can cost anywhere from $1,000 to more than $2,000 due to the complex nature of sizing, crafting and fitting the crown.

The price is also affected by the material you choose for your crown. Crowns made of 100% porcelain or 100% gold alloy cost more than those made of porcelain-fused-to-metal.

If you are more budget conscious, you may want to consider a crown made of porcelain-fused-to-metal.

How is a tooth crown covered by insurance?

Dental work is covered under a type of private health insurance policy called an extras policy, which is where you'll find a range of cover for outpatient treatments like dental, optical and physio.

However, not just any extras policy will do. You'll need a mid- to top-tier policy to cover your crown since insurers consider getting a crown to be major dental work.

A new policy will come with a 12-month waiting period for major dental work so if you think you'll need that type of work in the near future, you shouldn't hesitate to purchase it.

The good news is, the waiting periods for more minor treatments like check-ups and cleans will be much shorter, usually only two months. Plus some insurers will waive those shorter waiting periods as a way to attract your business. This lets you get your much needed preventative treatment as you sit out your waiting periods for major dental.

Compare insurance options that cover a tooth crown

Below you will find a range of extras only policies that will cover a tooth crown. All options are from Finder partners and quotes are based on singles cover for someone under 65 living in Sydney. They all come with a 12-month waiting period.

Name Product Root canal therapy Periodontics Crowns and bridges Dentures Veneers Annual limit Price Per Month Hide CompareBox Apply
Medibank Healthy Start Extras
Want 2&6 month waits waived on most extras? Offer for new members. Ends July 13. Promo Code: EXTRAS. Find out more.
HBF Flex 50
Frank Some Extras 50%
Qantas Basic Extras
ahm black 60
Peoplecare Mid Extras

Compare up to 4 providers

Quotes are based on less than $90,000 income.

Are tooth crowns covered by Medicare?

It's extremely unlikely that Medicare will pay for your crown. In some cases, Medicare will cover dental work if it forms part of a treatment that is typically covered (for example, you break your jaw and they need to remove a tooth to fit your jaw back into place). However, a crown wouldn't usually fit into such a scenario.

The one major exception is children who receive family assistance benefits. Medicare will pitch in up to $1,000 to help eligible children get the dental treatment they need, and this can include crowns.

You might have a bit more luck going through your state's public health system. Most states have their own public dental scheme and will offer free or discounted emergency dental treatment to pensioners and other concession card holders.

However, the vast majority of people will need private health insurance if they want to be covered for tooth crowns.

What happens during the tooth crown procedure?

Sizing, producing and fitting the crown is a rather complex procedure. Here are the typical steps you'll go through:

  1. The dentist will examine your teeth. Your dentist will look at your teeth to determine whether or not you need a crown. If there's not enough of your tooth left to support a crown, your dentist may add filling to your tooth until it's big enough.
  2. The dentist will take a mould of the questionable tooth. Next, the dentist will make a mould of your tooth to use as a blueprint for your form-fitting crown.
  3. You will choose your crown's material. You can usually choose between porcelain, a metal alloy or porcelain-fused-to-metal.
  4. You may get a temporary restoration. It could take a couple of weeks for the dentist to get the crown back. If your teeth are in really bad shape, they may give you a temporary restoration to tide you over.
  5. You'll come back for the crown. When the crown comes back, you'll return for your second appointment and your dentist will fit the crown onto your tooth.

Compare your extras cover options

Looking to compare more health insurance funds? Simply fill out your details and compare 30+ Australian funds in just a few clicks. Don't forget, a tooth crown would be classed as major dental in extras cover, so it's a good idea to check those limits when comparing.

Picture: Shutterstock

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