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
Gold crowns have been used in dentistry for decades. Newer porcelain crowns are now one of the more popular options for the modern dental patient. When it comes to deciding which type of crown is best for your own treatment needs, which one is best, a gold crown, or a porcelain crown?
Gold crowns are unique in that they allow the material of the crown to be shaped as closely as possible to your tooth. They provide a very accurate fit and reduce the risk of wide margins or overhangs that often collect plaque (making you less prone to develop gingivitis.) The soft material is more forgiving to chewing forces, and wears very well in comparison to you other teeth.
Porcelain crowns are the aesthetic treatment of choice for teeth in the front of your mouth, or that show when you smile, talk, or laugh. The material is closely matched to your surrounding teeth, so that the porcelain blends in naturally and looks as if it were a real tooth. The downside to porcelain crowns is that it is much more susceptible to fracturing than a gold crown.
Because porcelain does not flex or conform, there is a risk for slivers of porcelain to chip away, or for the crown to fracture apart if you accidentally bite on something very hard. It is impossible to patch a broken area or add on to a porcelain crown, so if they are damaged to the point where your smile is compromised, they require complete replacement. Thankfully, porcelain materials continue to be improved, providing dental patients with stronger crowns than what were previously available.
Posted on behalf of Dan Myers
Most major restorations like dental crowns are now fabricated out of porcelain materials, because they offer the ultimate in aesthetics for dental patients. You may have noticed however, that sometimes gold is still used, especially for teeth in the back of the mouth, that do not show when you talk or smile. Have you wondered why this is so?
Gold is extremely durable. In areas where increased pressure will be placed on a tooth over time, such as eating, gold offers a wonderful long-term alternative restoration compared to its porcelain counterparts. It is extremely pliable and easy to shape around areas that need small or large restorations.
Crowns, inlays and onlays are sometimes still made of gold. While most patients prefer to have a porcelain restoration, some dentists still offer gold as an alternative. It’s important to understand what benefits each type of restoration offers in addition to whether or not it simply appears to be aesthetic. Gold can wear a very long time, and allow smaller restorations in some cases than a porcelain crown. Gold inlays or onlays only take up a portion of the tooth, rather than cover the entire tooth surface the way a porcelain crown would, making them appropriate where a normal filling simply cannot function.
Not all dentists offer gold restorations on a regular basis, but it’s important to know that there is an alternative treatment for patients that may have concerns with fracturing porcelain restorations. Severe grinding or clenching of the teeth can lead to fractures or chipping in porcelain crowns. For patients that have bruxism habits, gold can be a useful alternative treatment choice.
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