Gold Dental Crown | Longest lasting material in dentistry

Gold dental crownWhat is a gold dental crown?

A gold dental crown provides a strong covering for a tooth that is weak or badly broken down. The tooth is cleaned and prepared, and the crown covers and encloses the entire tooth. They are ideal options for fixing posterior teeth in bruxers. Typically, other types of dental restorations are used for front teeth. Ceramic versions are a better choice in the front. When comparing gold and porcelain, gold is much kinder to opposing teeth.

Gold tends to be reserved for posterior teeth. It is a soft metal that is very kind to the opposing tooth. Usually, it is only used when patients are hard on their teeth. For instance, when they grind, clench, or use their teeth as tools and a lot of tooth structure is missing.

They are also recommended if you have a root canal on a back tooth. The lifespan of either depends on oral hygiene, proper care, and eating habits.

Gold crowns place in dentistry

Dr. Fondriest frequently will use gold dental crowns for second molars and sometimes first molars. This type of crown is selected only when the patient is a known grinder or has broken porcelain caps in the past. The natural teeth in the back take the most abuse as they are closest to the fulcrum of the jaw. The back teeth are usually not visible in the smile.

In porcelain fused to metal (PFM) restorations, the gold crown foundation can produce beautiful results when in the hands of a master ceramist. PFM crowns have more strength than ceramic versions.

Gold restorations are bio-compatible. The hard and soft tissues of your mouth integrate with them. They can also withstand higher chewing pressure than ceramic crowns and last for decades without corroding. Many people find gold fillings more pleasing to the eye than metal amalgam.

The Safety of Metal Dentistry

When it comes to silver or gold, there is no doubt that the latter is more bio-compatible. It is said that metal in the body can affect mental health. Silver fillings contain inorganic mercury which some dentists worry that it is slowly released into the body.

The FDA and ADA have both approved the use amalgam for adults and children over six years of age. The agency warns against using amalgam in children under six, pregnant women, or anyone allergic to the material. Mercury released from amalgam in dental work is negligible.

Some metals can be harmful

Metals used for dental work have been debated over the years. Some cheaper labs will use metal alloys that can be unsafe for oral health and overall health. There are potential dangers with mercury or nickel being used in metal alloys used for crowns or onlays.

As long as your dentist uses a high quality American lab there shouldn’t be a problem with allergic reactions or metal toxicity. There is no agency that oversees private dentists. Make sure that your dentist uses a high noble alloy.

Precious metals such as gold are completely bio-compatible. There are absolutely no metal allergies to high carat gold. It’s unfortunate when a dentist takes shortcuts and uses toxic metals. The story then gets distorted in the press and on Facebook. The media story disparages metal when the problem really is how it was made. That ruins the opportunity to use a product that has been used for centuries in a safe way.

The Pros and Cons of Gold Dental Crowns

All metal crowns are chosen for durability. A metal based cap is bound to last for years without cracking or chipping. Additionally, since gold alloy proves malleable, your dentist is able to make a more precise fit.

The downside of metallic materials is their appearance. All metal versions are easily noticed, especially if it is on a front tooth. Metal caps are easily seen in the front of the mouth. They are rarely considered for the front of the mouth.

Another limitation of metallic restorations is that they cannot be bonded onto a tooth. Bonding porcelain shells to the outsides of teeth is thought to make teeth stronger. There are always choices to be made in each situation. Porcelain fortified teeth work best when most of the tooth remains. If half or more than half of a tooth is lost, then a noble metal crown is the best choice.

Does gold cost the same as a porcelain crown?

Normally dentists charge the same fee for porcelain or gold crowns. They range in price from $1800-3000 depending on the quality level of the dentist and laboratory.

There are a few exceptions. When many porcelain crowns are being done in the front of the mouth, the complexity of the work increases. Usually, artistic smile design is performed and it will increase the cost. If your dentist chooses to use high noble alloys instead of a cheap metal, it will cost more. High noble metals are significantly more expensive than car bumper metal. The higher quality metal fits better and lasts longer.

Differences in insurance coverage between cheap metal and high noble metal

Gold crowns are typically used to treat both bite and cosmetic issues and are likely to be covered by insurance. The amount the insurance company pays depends on your policy plan. Some companies pay the entire amount while others only pay an arbitrarily assigned UCR. UCR supposedly stands for usual and customary amount. Actually, that is the UCR from 1976 when dental insurance started.

The cost of high noble caps cost more to create and the insurance companies know that. They are reimbursed at a higher amount.


Dr. Fondriest is a Nationally recognized and highly sought after cosmetic dentist. He serves clients from throughout the United States