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Gold Crowns

Even though gold is a great materail to restore a tooth with a dental crown, patients don't like this material because of its color. Read this page to learn more about the advantages of this type of crown.

Gold crowns are not a very popular choice among patients as it does not have much aesthetic appeal. They are suitable for patients who are in the habit of biting strong food substances along with clenching and grinding.

Gold crowns offer increased durability and are suitable for the back teeth like the molars so that they are not visible.

Forms of Gold crowns

Gold crown

Gold crown

Gold crowns are available in three forms:
  • Full gold crowns: they are made to cover up the whole tooth up to the gum line.
  • Gold inlays: these are gold castings used to replace particularly those areas where a distinctive filling has to be placed.
  • Gold onlays: they are equally strong as full crown but have reduced tooth width reduction and the edges do not touch the gum line.

Reasons for preferring Gold crowns to other crowns

1. Better oral health
If you opt for a gold crown, you can save a lot of your tooth structure. When you go for a crown, your dentist files/ trims your tooth so that it holds your crown. Your dentist can trim your tooth lesser if you get a gold crown. So, you will save more of your natural tooth structure, thus, you have a better oral health.

2. Better overall health
Your body tolerates gold better than the other popular materials used for your dental treatment. So, you won't have any nerve problems or bleeding gums because of a gold crown. With the other metal crowns, some people experience these problems when their body cannot tolerate their crown well. Most of the people are not allergic to gold.

Gold crowns are especially more useful as you age. With ageing, you may develop allergies and may have reduced immunity. With gold, you have fewer chances of allergy as well as gum infections.

3. Long lasting
Gold crowns are more durable than other crown types. So, they wear out lesser and you can use them for a longer time.

Did you know, your tooth responds to heat and cold by expansion or contraction? So is gold. The good news is expansion and contraction of gold to varying environments is similar to that of your tooth. So, your gold crown does not crack/ chip/ fracture like other crowns. The rate at which gold expands or contracts is like your natural tooth.

On an average, you can use your gold crown for at least 20 to 40 years.

4. Perfect fit
Gold caps or castings fit more accurately on your tooth than the other dental restorations. Porcelain crowns tend to shrink; thus, the fitting of the crown may vary, and you carry the chances of decay around your tooth.

5. Does not harm your other teeth
When you chew food, your teeth in your upper and lower jaws come in contact and work together to chew food. Few crowns tend to wear out your opposing tooth. Gold is safe and does not harm your opposing tooth. This property of gold makes it ideal for bruxism.

Bruxism is a state wherein you grind your teeth excessively, especially at night. It can be so intense that it may wake up the person who is sleeping next to you. Bruxism damages your teeth as well as your crowns. Gold is an ideal choice here as it neither harms your opposing teeth nor it lets your opposing teeth harm your gold crown.

6. Stays new always
Gold is smooth and does not get stained. Other crowns may have a rough surface which invites bacteria to settle down and stain your crown as well as increase the likelihood of infection.

Disadvantages - Expensive!

As gold is an expensive metal, gold tooth crowns are expensive. (Even though gold crowns are not 100% gold, since the crown wouldn't be hard enough.) However, as they are longer lasting, they need lesser replacements or adjustments. You also need fewer appointments to adjust or replace a gold crown, thus, it will be saving you time and money in the long run.

How much does a gold crown cost?

The price of a gold crown not only depends on your location, the size of the crown and the experience of the dentist, but also on the price of the gold. This is another factor that makes it hard to give a good estimate of the price, however if you are in the US, the price you pay will likely be around $1000 - $1200, maybe a bit more.

Because of its aesthetic appeal, people usually prefer porcelain fused to gold crowns (PFG crowns) instead of pure gold crowns. The price is basically the same and PFG crowns have both the advantages of a gold crown and the aesthetics of a porcelain crown. Both pure gold and PFG crowns are ideal for back tooth restoration.

If you want to know more about prices, read our article about dental crown costs here.

How to Save on Gold Crowns?

Discount dental plans offer an easy way to save 20% - 50% on your dental treatment. You only need to show your card at a participating dentist (over 40,000 locations in the US) and you'll pay the reduced rate. No waiting period, no paperwork or claims process.

If you know you need a gold crown, apply for a card here and you'll be able to save a couple of hundred dollars on that single treatment. If you need any additional treatment, your savings will be even larger.

Read more about this offer!

Can you sell your gold dental crowns?

Yes. You can sell any of your dental prosthesis which has precious metals such as gold and platinum.

How much does my gold dental crown worth?

It depends on the composition. Gold crowns and other gold restorations such as bridges, inlays, and onlays are usually made up of 16-karat gold. However, sometimes you find crowns that use 10 karat/ 40% gold or 20 karat/ 80% gold.

16 karat gold is around 60% gold. They also have a combination of other metals such as platinum, silver, nickel, and chromium. This combination makes your gold crown soft enough to be molded into a crown and hard enough to use for the biting surface of your tooth. While calculating the worth of your gold crown, the buyer deducts a refining cost of 15 to 18% which he uses to extract the precious metals out of your gold crown. A gold crown is usually 1/10th of an ounce of 16-karat gold. It may fetch you around 60$ each crown after deducting the 15 to 18% refining cost. The price of an old crown that you want to sell, depends on the size of your crown as well as the alloy/ metals and their composition used in making it.

Who buys your gold crowns?

As the price of gold is high since the past decade, a lot of people are interested in buying old dental prosthesis / restorations made of gold and other precious metals. A local jeweler, coin shop, or even a neighborhood dental lab may be a buyer.

However, refineries may pay you higher than the local buyers. Refineries do the metallurgical assay and will be able to pay you the right amount. The local buyers may just pay you an approximate price based on the weight of your prosthesis.

You can contact the refineries online as well as via phone or shipment. They generally have a free shipment as well as no minimum quantity. You can also add some old or broken gold jewelry which you are not using. In case you are not happy with the rate that refineries are offering you, you can get back the items you shipped as you have an option to reject the payout.

Selling gold dental crowns

Immediately transfer your gold prosthesis/ restorations to a closed plastic bottle/ pill bottle or a sealed plastic pouch (heavy duty.) Sometimes you may have a tooth removed which has a gold crown / bridge or any other restoration such as the inlay. You can send your gold restorations along with the extracted teeth. You don’t have to take the trouble of removing any attached cement or dental work attached to your gold crowns. Buyers know how to deal with them. They melt the gold crowns and separate out the precious metals which they need.

Other dental uses of gold

You can also use gold for inlays and onlays. An inlay is a lab-made restoration or filling. Generally, when you have a decay / cavity, your dentist cleans the area, removes caries / decay, and prepares your tooth so as to hold the filling and places a filling. In case of an inlay, the filling is lab-made. Your dentist cleans your tooth and glues a lab-made filling. Inlays need less trimming of your tooth; thus, they save your natural tooth and give you a better oral health.

Onlay is also a lab-made filling. The difference between the inlay and onlay is, the inlay is a filling which covers only the biting surface of your tooth, while the onlay also covers cusp/ part of your teeth which comes in contact with your opposing tooth. As your body tolerates gold well, gold inlays and onlays suit you more than other fillings.

Similar crowns

Due to its limited aesthetic appeal, gold crowns are rarely used nowadays. Instead of pure gold crowns, porcelain fused to metal crowns are used widely. These crowns consist of a ceramic layer that is fused on a metallic structure (in ideal case, this metal is gold, but might also be silver, nickel or some other non-noble metal). This method combines the advantages of ceramic crowns (i.e aesthetic appeal) and metal crowns (i.e durability). PFM crowns are the most common solution for back tooth restorations.

PFG/ Porcelain Fused to Gold

PFG/ Porcelain Fused to Gold is also an option especially for your front teeth. PFG crown has a gold base and porcelain on top of it. This gives you all the advantages of gold and porcelain on top of it gives you the looks similar to your natural teeth. However, the price is same as that of gold crowns. So, for the front teeth, you may want to go for PFG crowns and for your back teeth, you may want to opt for PFG or gold crowns.

You might also be interested in Captek crowns, which is a high quality porcelain fused to gold crown.

Other types of crowns

These days all porcelain crowns are used almost always when restoring front teeth. Thanks to recent research result, there are a number of all ceramic crowns that are both translucent and durable enough to be used. The most popular type are zirconia, emax and lava crowns.

Advantages of gold crowns