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Though in History of the World Part I, Mel Brooks was not referring to the importance of crowns – this article is. A dental crown is typically used to cap or encircle a tooth. Especially if a cavity or a number of cavities it is covering is too large for a filling to handle by itself. Wikipedia notes that:

While inarguably beneficial to dental health, the procedure and materials can be relatively expensive.

Just remember there many dental payment plans that can be worked out with your dentist, so the main reason for getting a crown is your dental health.

Most often crowns are used to strengthen a tooth, improve bite function, or help eliminate symptoms caused from discomfort (THINK: TMJ), or to improve the appearance of teeth.

Crowns are also used to finish off dental implants. Implants can be used in place of a full or a partial denture (of course consult your dentist for a more complete description). In short, once you have an implant (think of it as an artificial tooth root) attached to your jawbone a crown is attached to resemble a naturally occurring tooth.

Aside from implants, crowns can also be used to “reinforce” a tooth after a root canal. After a root canal the tooth can become brittle and weaker than neighboring teeth. In general an average person can exert up to 200 lbs of muscular force on their back teeth (posterior).  That amount of force is greater than what is put on the front teeth (anterior).  In short, if you get a root canal on a molar you will most likely have it crowned in order to strengthen it.

If you think you might need a crown or have been debating asking your dentist about one, consult your neighborhood dentist. Remember they are the experts on oral health care and always willing and able to help you towards your goal of better overall health through the proper care and maintenance of your teeth.

 

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Dentistry_stub

There is a prevailing thought out in the world that dentists are expensive. There is also a relatively new type of currency that is starting to take traction, a bitcoin. A Bitcoin is considered a cryptocurrency. If you don’t know what a bitcoin is or what cryptocurrency is, that’s ok, hardly anyone does.

A bitcoin is just a different way to pay for something. A bitcoin’s value fluctuates, kind of like a stock. It is the rising popularity of bitcoins that begs the question; is there another way to pay for something that folks consider expensive, like dentistry?

Yes, and no. As of yet I have not found a dentist that accepts bitcoins. However, many dental offices are more than willing to help their patients come up with the best payment plan that will work for tem.  Some dentists offer in-office financing, some offer financing through a third party vendor.

Like any financing, the interest rate you will end up paying depends of your credit. However, most dentists are aware our economy is still in rough shape and will be willing to work with those with bruised credit.   The thing you as the patient need to decide: Is the interest rate you will be paying worth the health benefits a major dental procedure will afford you.

Obviously if you want to do some financing to get diamond incrusted teeth, maybe you should rethink that. Financing for a root canal, implant or other device that will help you enjoy eating healthier, better, and in less pain, may well be worth the finance charge.

Of course there is dental insurance, but that may be as hard to get as health insurance through Healthcare.gov. And, keep in mind anytime you can pay cash directly, you will pay less.  But, also keep in mind; taking care of your teeth is not like a kitchen renovation on a kitchen that still works. Without proper dental care your health will suffer.

So, call your neighborhood dentist and make an appointment to come in and talk to them about finally getting that filling, crown, implant or root canal. The worst-case scenario is that the financing may not be available. The best-case scenario is that you can work out a payment plan with your dentist and finally have the dental care you deserve.