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Dental crowns are fitted caps that cover damaged or decayed teeth. They can improve the appearance and structure of a tooth. Porcelain and gold are the two main materials used to make dental crowns.
Gold has been used in dental restorations for over 4,000 years.1 Gold is a strong material that doesn’t chip easily and can last for decades.
Today, gold and gold alloy dental crowns still exist. However, they are not as popular because of their high price and metallic appearance.
Gold crowns range in cost from $800 to $1,400 per tooth, depending on the area of your mouth. Without insurance, a gold crown may cost up to $2,500.
Your dental insurance plan may cover all or part of the cost of the procedure. Coverage depends on whether your crowns are considered cosmetic or medically necessary.
Here are the main differences between gold and porcelain crowns:
Gold is stronger than porcelain and can withstand significant forces. Porcelain crowns will wear down or fracture more quickly, especially in people who grind their teeth.
Gold crowns are ideal for molars. Less tooth structure needs to be removed than with porcelain. A thin crown made of gold is enough to protect your tooth.
Gold is more durable than porcelain and can last decades, if not a lifetime. It’s an excellent material for people who have TMJ or grind their teeth. Studies show it wears down enamel less than other materials.2
Porcelain crowns have a greater potential of breaking down and fracturing. They react more to chewing forces that may cause craze lines and fractures on the crowns and opposing teeth.
Gold and porcelain crowns are costly but beneficial oral health investments.
Gold crowns may cost anywhere from $800 to $2,500. Porcelain crowns typically range from $800 to $2,000 per tooth.
With proper maintenance, gold crowns can last several decades or even your entire life. Porcelain crowns can last anywhere from 1 to 5 years.
A gold crown is ideal for a tooth that needs structural support. It benefits teeth prone to damage or those that can’t withstand traditional fillings. Other situations where gold crowns may be necessary include:
The steps of a gold crown procedure include:
Like any dental treatment, gold crowns have their advantages and disadvantages. Knowing them is vital in making an informed decision about your oral health.
Gold crowns are strong, durable, and long-lasting. Their other advantages include:
The most common downsides of a gold crown include:
If a gold crown falls out, call your dentist to re-cement, repair, or replace it to avoid side effects. If you cannot get an immediate appointment, try a temporary over-the-counter cement before getting it permanently cemented.
Remember in the meantime to:
Gold dental crowns are still in use today. The fitted caps are made of gold or a gold alloy. They cover damaged or decaying teeth.
Many people prefer porcelain dental crowns for their natural look. However, gold crowns are strong and durable. They require less tooth reduction than their porcelain counterparts.
While expensive, gold crowns can last a lifetime with proper care.
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