Material Upgrades

We always use high quality materials in our office, but there is a “good, better, best” in every situation.  We refer to the “best” as material upgrades.  These are the highest quality materials, but they are not covered by insurance because there are other good materials that would suffice.  Material upgrades are optional, but are strongly recommended in most cases.

Typically, insurance will only cover the “Least Expensive Alternative Treatment” (LEAT).  Because insurance does not cover the upgrades, and because we need to cover our costs, should you choose to use the upgraded materials there will be a small additional fee that will be charged to you. (e.g. insurance will normally cover up to the cost of a silver amalgam filling, but will not cover the full cost of a white composite filling; therefore you will be responsible to cover the difference.)

Below is a list of upgraded materials used in our office.  If you have questions regarding material upgrades, please ask us!


We always use high quality filling materials, but some are better than others.  Insurance will *usually cover at least a portion of a standard filling, but the fee associated with material upgrades is not covered.

Nano-Hybrid Composites
Additional $42 per tooth
Upgraded Material  
This is a tooth-colored material that is significantly stronger than other filling materials.  It is not necessary in every case, but we prefer to use it –particularly on back molars– because of its durability and biocompatibility.


A variety of materials exist when it comes to crowns, and each has it’s own purpose.  Some are stronger than others; some are more aesthetically pleasing; others are a balance of strength and aesthetic.  Depending on the case, Dr. Maxfield may recommend one material over another. 
As with fillings, there is a base cost for crowns.  Any material upgrade will have an additional fee which is not covered by insurance. 

Base Material; *usually covered by insurance  
Zirconia is white, but is used mainly for its strength not its aesthetic.  These are usually used on the back molars.

(Porcelain Fused to Metal)
Upgraded Material  
White porcelain is layered onto a metal crown for added strength and maintained aesthetic. These are usually used on the back molars.

(a.k.a. Layered Zirconia)
Upgraded Material
Katana is a tooth-colored crown material; it is the balance between strength and aesthetic.  Porcelain is carefully layered to exactly match the natural color of the other teeth.  Katana is not quite as strong as Zirconia, but is more aesthetically pleasing.  It is usually used on canines and incisors.

Upgraded Material
Emax is the best-looking, tooth-colored crown material, but is not as strong as the other materials.  It is normally used on front teeth, since they are the most visible and take the least amount of force. 

Upgraded Material
Gold crowns are used for their strength and are only placed on the back molars where they will not be seen.

*We do not guarantee that insurance will cover any fillings or crowns.
You are responsible for knowing your own insurance policy
The information above is simply based on what we typically see from insurances.