Gold dental crowns are a type of restoration that sits over the entirety of a severely decayed or damaged tooth. The purpose of these restorations is to provide much-needed support and protection to weakened teeth. Today, dental crowns come in a variety of materials, but once upon a time, gold was one of just a few options from which patients could choose. It prevails today as a standard material because of its durability, one factor that heavily influences the type of restorations people get.
Gold dental crowns are a contradiction in and of themselves. Thanks to the addition of other materials, gold crowns are durable, making them the best material choice for restorations on the back teeth. However, because of the inherently soft nature of gold, it does not harm the adjacent or opposing teeth as many tougher restorations do. While for aesthetic reasons gold is not the choice material for patients, many dentists continue to recommend it. If a dentist does recommend it, the patient may have several questions before agreeing to a gold crown.
Aside from appearances, gold crowns offer several advantages with which other types of restoration materials cannot compete. Some top advantages of choosing gold over other silver, amalgam, porcelain, or another material include the following:
There are two major disadvantages of choosing gold over another type of filling material. The first is appearances. Gold restorations stand out and make it obvious that a person had dental work done. The second drawback is cost. Gold is an expensive metal. By that, gold dental crowns are expensive.
With the right care, gold crowns can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. However, several factors affect a gold crown’s longevity, including the health of the natural tooth being covered, whether one smokes or drinks alcohol, how frequently one brushes their teeth, and the types of food one eats, to name a few.
The cost of gold dental crowns depends on several factors, including the metal’s current market rate, the size of the restoration needed, and a dentist’s service rates. Patients should prepare to spend as much as $2,500 per gold crown. With insurance, that price may decrease by half.
Alone, gold is not strong enough to serve as a dental restoration. For this reason, dental labs combine metal with other, more durable materials. Materials commonly combined with gold to make crowns include nickel, palladium, and chromium. Each of these materials helps to increase the strength of restorations and reduce their cost.
Though not a favored option, gold dental crowns offer several benefits that restorations made from other materials cannot offer. Patients who need restorations — especially on the back teeth — should consult with a dentist regarding the benefits of gold crowns.
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