Dana Point, CA dentist explains advantages of a gold tooth crown
The dental crown is an extremely versatile restoration. As a stand-alone repair, it encloses a tooth damaged by decay or trauma, providing strength. A crown protects a tooth embrittled by root canal therapy, and a pair of crown anchors a bridge, replacing one or several consecutive missing teeth. Today, many patients assume that their only option is a tooth-colored crown. While this type may be aesthetically advantageous, there are many good reasons to consider a gold tooth crown. Dana Point, CA dentist, Dr. Mark Cruz, explains.
Dental restorations and gum disease
Any dental restoration with an edge at or below the gum line creates a ledge where bacteria may accumulate. The combination of artificial material and this haven for bacteria can irritate delicate gum tissues. That increases the risk of gum disease, a serious condition that impacts oral health as well as whole-body wellness.
To understand the benefit of a gold tooth crown as compared to porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) or all porcelain, it helps to understand the crown preparation procedure.
First, areas of tooth decay or broken tooth structure are removed. If this reduction is extensive, the tooth may be built up with composite resin material. In lesser cases, however, the dentist continues to shape the tooth so that a dental crown may be fitted over it. This is when crown material makes a big difference.
A PFM or all ceramic crown is not as strong as gold. Thus, the walls of a porcelain crown must be thicker – usually about two millimeters (approximately the width of a five-cent coin), compared to just 1.5 mm for gold. That means extra healthy tooth structure must be ground down, in comparison to the necessary reduction for a gold crown. It also results in a thicker ledge at the gum line.
In addition, PMF and porcelain are very hard and brittle. While gold is certainly rigid enough to withstand bite force, it is malleable. A skilled, experienced dentist can mold and work it precisely, to fine tune the fit of the crown during the fabrication process. That results in a restoration with a thin, feathered edge where the crown meets gum tissue.
Gold is a hypoallergenic, biocompatible dental material. Only a small percentage of the population has a true gold allergy. Most who believe they do are actually allergic to nickel or other metals in gold alloys. This biocompatibility factor further reduces risk of gum irritation.
Other reasons why a gold tooth crown may be preferable
- Due to the strength of gold, crown failure due to breakage is rare, even with the tremendous bite force on back molars.
- You can expect a well-designed and properly placed gold crown to last many years. While a gold restoration may cost a bit more up front (depending on gold’s current market value), it is cost-effective in the long term.
- Because gold has a wear coefficient similar to natural tooth enamel, a crown won’t cause excessive wear on the tooth it bites against. Bear in mind that porcelain is purified clay fired at an extremely high temperature to the consistency of glass, which can fracture or abrade an opposing tooth. This is especially important for the patient who grinds or clenches teeth.
- Some metals used in dental restorations are reactive – they corrode easily from contact with water, acids, or oxidizing agents. Gold is nearly non-reactive. It doesn’t tarnish or discolor in the mouth.
Choosing a dentist for your gold crown
While crowns are a common procedure in most dental practices, some dentists rarely place gold crowns. Specialized training and experience in working with this material is essential for a satisfactory outcome. Dr. Cruz does not settle for satisfactory. He strives for perfection and accepts only excellence in his work. He is recognized as an expert in gold dental restorations, lecturing, presenting, training other dentists, and continually learning more about this fascinating area of dentistry for the benefit of his patients. You can learn more about Dr. Cruz’s credentials in gold dentistry, airway focused dentistry, sleep disordered breathing, CAMBRA tooth decay management, and other specializations at Dr. Cruz’s biographical profile.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Cruz to find out if you are a good candidate for a gold tooth crown. The number in Dana Point, CA is (949) 661-1006.