Hi. I am a 52 yrs young woman, needing several crowns due to huge fillings loosening, root canal treatments and the like. I have been prepared for 1 crown so far and asked the dentist for all porcelain crowns, wanting to rid my mouth of ANY metal as the work continues on. They told me it would be an Empress crown. My insurance company pays for Porcelain/ceramic substrate crown at a certain rate. Even though the Empress crown is all porcelain or ceramic my dentist says that the Empress is not coded on the insurance form and he will have to charge me over $1000 for the crown. (The insurance says the charge for code 2740 porcelain/ceramic substrate s/b $370). I am not sure if I am being told the truth by the dental office. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Can you comment on this affair? Thanks. PS. I do have some budgetary issues, so if I need 8 or so crowns, the cost does count!
– Pam in Florida
I think you are being given correct information by your dental office. There is no special code for Empress–Empress is a brand. And $1000 is on the low end of fees for dental crowns so that’s a reasonable deal. Dental insurance isn’t like auto insurance or life insurance or medical insurance, which is designed to cover risk. Dental expenses are pretty predictable, so think of your insurance as a benefit plan where they are helping you a little with the costs. So unlike medical insurance where the higher the cost the more you need to rely on the insurance, this is a case where the higher the cost, the more the insurance company wants to protect itself, so it can make a profit. From what you said, you implied that the all porcelain crown was your idea, not the dentist’s. I need to warn you about this. This is very risky, doing an all porcelain crown, if the dentist didn’t recommend it. Many dentists are not very good at the sophisticated bonding techniques for placing all porcelain crowns, and you could be pushing the dentist out of his or her comfort zone. Good cosmetic dentists will really resist doing porcelain fused to metal crowns on front teeth, because they’re ugly. So if your dentist didn’t recommend all porcelain, I’d take that as a signal that you’re in the wrong office, if that’s what you want.
– Dr. Hall
Read about one-visit CEREC crowns.
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