Gold has been used in dentistry for years, but the development of successful materials that are more esthetically pleasing has caused a reduction in the amount of gold restorations frequently used. Typically, gold is mostly used for dental crowns, inlays, or onlays. Is it still being used today, and if so, to what extent?
Although not nearly as common as it once was, gold still remains a preferred material for certain types of restorations; especially those where there is more force applied to the teeth during everyday functions like chewing and grinding. That’s because gold is more pliable and responds better to forces over time, and there’s not a concern over sloughing or chipping of porcelain. For patients that have bruxism (grinding) or clenching habits, gold may be a better option when they’re looking for long-term restorative options.
Obviously, gold is not as much of an esthetic material as porcelain or tooth colored restorations. That’s why it is usually restricted to use on the molars, or just the upper back teeth, as these teeth are not easily seen when a person smiles, talks, or laughs in front of other people.
Another factor to consider when comparing gold to porcelain restorations is the current price of gold on the market. This will influence the fees related to laboratory and material expenses to have a restoration made. In the past, cosmetic options like porcelain may have been more expensive, but depending on the market, gold restorations may be slightly higher.
Selecting gold for your restorations is often a personal preference that involves any input from your dentist. Ask your dentist about which type of material is best for the specific teeth you need to have treated.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park
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