We're happy enough with the numbers we show.
As example information, here's a link to a (randomly chosen) dental lab's fee schedule.

What we notice is that your dentist's cost might range from $150 to $225 various different types of crowns. But we won't really agree that this constitutes an exorbitant difference.

Gold hit its all time high in summer 2011 (over 5 years ago). Here's a chart.
The current spot price of the metal (today) is just shy of $1260/ounce.
That's down about 25% from the high, and right about in the middle of what the range has been over the last 4 years. So with the exception that your dentist is comparing the current environment to possibly the 2000's or before, once again, nothing seems especially exorbitant about these numbers.

Crowns can vary by way of how much gold it takes to make them (here's a sample calculation), and possibly that is the issue with yours. (In the fee schedule you'll see "yellow gold" crowns costing $110 plus the cost of gold).

By placing a "porcelain" crown, your dentist is able to avoid the variability in their lab costs due to the amount of metal needed. But once again, this is more in the range of tens of dollars and not a lot more.

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