Gold Crown | Longest lasting material used 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. Gold dental crowns 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 crowns tend to be reserved for posterior teeth. Usually they are 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. Or, 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 teeth in the back take the most abuse as they are closest to the fulcrum of the jaw. Luckily, 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 all porcelain 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 gold is more bio-compatible. It is said that metal in the body can affect metal 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 dental work have been debated over the years. Some cheaper labs will use metal alloys that can be unsafe to 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 should be a problem. 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. It’s unfortunate when a dentist takes shortcuts and uses toxic metals. The story then gets distorted in the press and on Facebook. The story says metal crown when it 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

What’s great about all metal crowns is 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. However, the downside is the appearance. All metal crowns become easily noticed, especially if a front tooth needs the crown. Gold crowns are easily seen in the front of the mouth. They are not usually considered in the front of the mouth.

Another limitation of gold is that it 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 a 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 gold instead of a cheap metal, it will cost more. Gold is significantly more expensive than car bumper metal. It also fits better and lasts longer.

Differences in insurance coverage between cheap metal and gold

Crowns are typically used to treat both bite and cosmetic issues and are likely to be covered by dental 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 crowns 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