Updated on March 8, 2024
3 min read

Gold Tooth Crowns: Facts, Cost, and How Long They Last

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What are Gold Tooth Crowns?

A gold tooth crown is a cap that fits over a tooth to restore its form and function after breakage, decay, or root canal treatment. Dentists also use gold crowns to replace missing teeth with dental bridges or partial dentures.

Gold Crown Image

Gold is one of the oldest tooth repair materials in the dental industry. But laboratories can now make dental crowns from various materials, including metal, porcelain, zirconia, or porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM). 

Types of Gold Dental Crowns 

A gold crown is a type of metal crown that may be made of gold alloy or PFM that fuses gold and porcelain. Because gold in pure form is soft and malleable, laboratories mix it with other metals to create dental crowns. 

Gold crowns typically consist of three types of  metal alloys:1

  1. High noble alloy — Made from a minimum of 60% noble metal like gold, platinum, or palladium, with at least 40% gold.
  2. Noble alloy — Made from a minimum of 25% precious metal.
  3. Non-noble alloy — Made from less than 25% precious metal and contains large percentages of nickel, cobalt, or other base metals.

How Much Do Gold Crowns Cost?

You can expect to pay from $800 to $2500 for a gold crown. Gold crowns are a costly investment because gold is an expensive material. 

The specific price you’ll pay can vary by the dental office, location, and where the crown is placed in the mouth. Usually, insurance doesn’t fully cover the cost, but it’s worth checking your coverage with your insurer. 

Benefits of Gold Crowns

Gold crowns have numerous benefits and are extremely durable. They’re a great option for people who have signs of heavy wear on their teeth.

Some benefits of gold crowns include:2

  • Can withstand heavy biting and chewing forces
  • Rarely chip, break, or become brittle
  • Long-lasting
  • Only require minor tooth removal
  • Cause minimal wear to the opposing tooth 
  • Biocompatible

Most people only need to have a gold crown replaced if the tooth underneath becomes injured or decayed. They’re a great investment and cost-effective over time. 

Downsides of Gold Crowns

People who prefer natural tooth-colored crowns may be opposed to the highly visible color and shine of a gold crown, especially on the front teeth. However, for others, the appearance of gold crowns is part of the reason they choose this type of dental restoration.

Aside from aesthetic concerns, on rare occasions, gold crowns may trigger an allergic reaction if you have a metal allergy. Here are the side effects to look out for:3

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Irritation
  • Burning sensation
  • Ulcers
  • Lesions or sores called a lichenoid reaction

Other Types of Crowns & Their Costs

Dental crowns differ in their materials, price points, advantages, and disadvantages. 

Here’s how they compare:

Type of CrownAdvantagesDisadvantagesCost
PorcelainAesthetically pleasing, matches surrounding teeth, toxin-free, low allergy riskLess durable for teeth-grindersVaries; influenced by material quality and dentist fees
GoldDurable and strong, suitable for back teethPrice fluctuates with gold market, less aestheticVaries with gold market prices
Porcelain Fused-to-Metal (PFM)Durable, less expensive than pure gold or porcelain, aestheticPotential gray line at gum, more tooth removal,5 may not mimic natural teeth transparency, metal sensitivity risk$500 to $1,500 per tooth, depending on alloy
ZirconiaVery durable (“ceramic steel”)6, looks like natural teeth, possible same-day procedureHigh cost, can erode opposing teeth8Generally upwards of $1,000


There are different types of dental crowns available. Gold crowns, for example, are strong, durable, and can last a lifetime with proper care. 

However, some people don’t like the appearance of gold crowns. In these cases, they might choose porcelain or PFM crowns instead, which blend in with your natural teeth.

Your dentist can advise you on the type of crown that’s best for your oral health and budget.

Last updated on March 8, 2024
8 Sources Cited
Last updated on March 8, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1.  Materials for indirect restorations.” The American Dental Association, 2021
  2.  Dental crowns.” The Cleveland Clinic, 2020
  3. Moller, H,. et al. “Dental gold alloys and contact allergy.” Contact Dermatitis, 2002
  4. Fan, H,. et al. “Relationship between squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue and the position of dental prosthesis.” The Journal of Advanced Prosthodontics, 2015
  5. Makhija, S., et al. “Dentist material selection for single unit crowns: Findings from The National Dental Practice Based Research Network.” Journal of Dentistry, 2016
  6. Monaco, C., et al. “Zirconia based versus metal-based single crowns veneered with over pressing ceramic for restoration of posterior endodontically treated teeth: 5 year results of a randomized controlled clinical study.” Journal of Dentistry, 2017
  7. Bona, Alvaro Della et al. “Zirconia as a Dental Biomaterial.” Materials (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 8,8 4978-4991. 4 Aug. 2015, doi:10.3390/ma8084978
  8. Soleimani, F., et al. “Retention and clinical performance of zirconia crowns: A comprehensive review.” International Journal of Dentistry, 2020
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