Permanent Gold Teeth

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Written and Medically Reviewed by

Medically Reviewed

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts. Dr. Daniel Cho strives to provide unbiased and honest feedback regarding dental topics. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.

Gold teeth are not as common as they used to be, primarily when it comes to the concept of restorative dentistry. People still sport gold teeth, but in many cases, such as Grillz, it’s for esthetic reasons. For example, we still use gold to fill cavities, but composite or amalgam materials are much more common. Gold caps are more common than gold fillings and both are excellent restorative materials for your permanent teeth.

Many dentists still offer gold teeth if that’s a route you’re considering. Except for esthetics, gold has many fantastic properties, making it an excellent material for dentistry. Gold comes with many benefits, so let’s discuss that in more detail!

What are the Benefits of Gold Fillings?

Gold fillings are highly durable and can last exceptionally longer than other standard filling materials. In the process of fixing teeth that have gotten cavities, the unhealthy parts of the tooth are removed and replaced with a synthetic material. While the interface between the synthetic material and natural tooth can be very close, there’s going to be a tiny gap that is susceptible to getting another cavity.

Since gold is very malleable it fits the tooth incredibly accurately, this can prevents bacterial leakage over time. Golds malleability makes the margin smooth, almost non-existent, meaning the tooth is going to be less likely to get another cavity.

As a metal, gold can be incredibly strong even when very thin. As opposed to porcelain crowns, which require more material to prevent fracture. This can be advantageous in back teeth where space can be an issue.

Additionally gold fillings will wear down at about the same rate as natural teeth and they’re biocompatible. The oral tissues do not get severely irritated when in close proximity to gold teeth. There are even some people that find gold more esthetically pleasing.

What are the Disadvantages of Gold Fillings?

The biggest disadvantage of god teeth are the esthetics. Gold, platinum, and other metals stand out when placed next to real, permanent teeth. You do not have to be an oral professional to see how much gold stands out. Due to this, gold is not used as frequently in the esthetic zone since many people would like to show their own natural teeth when smiling.

Are Gold Fillings or Crowns Better Than White Fillings and Crowns?

There are subtle differences in the materials when talking about crowns vs fillings. This is because gold teeth cannot be made easily. It typically takes two visits for gold teeth, regardless if it’s a filling or a crown.

Gold Crown Vs Porcelain Crowns

Many studies show that there is not a significant difference between gold crowns and porcelain crowns. They both last 10 to 15 years. However clinically, it is known that gold teeth have the potential to last much longer that 15 years. As more time passes, we will see if the newer generations of porcelain crowns have the same potential as gold.

Gold Fillings Vs White Fillings

Clinically, gold fillings can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years, sometimes even longer. This is compared to composite fillings whose life expectancy is 7 to 10 years. This has to do with the way that gold fillings are placed as opposed to white fillings. White fillings are placed, cured and finished on the same day, directly in the mouth while gold fillings are sent to a lab to be casted.

While gold fillings generally last longer than white fillings, the trade off is they cost more. It’s important to note that all crowns and fillings get the job done. There is not a ‘one size fits all’ material since everyone has personal preferences.

Are Permanent Gold Teeth Bad for You?

There is no evidence or thoughts that gold teeth are bad for your health. Gold is an inert material that is very kind to the tissues. As long as they’re placed correctly in the mouth by a dental professional, permanent gold teeth work very well. They are not bad for you.

Gold has a longstanding history of success. From a health standpoint, there is no harm in a well placed gold tooth. If there is a problem with a gold tooth, is it in the application of the material and not the material itself.

How Effective Are Gold Implants?

While gold implant crowns are effective, it should be noted that there are no dental implants that are made of gold. Instead dental implants are made of primarily a titanium alloy and also zirconia.

Gold implant crowns are not significantly better than their porcelain counterparts. The primary advantage of gold is its fantastic marginal adaptability. In other words, how seamless the gold material blends to the tooth. This is nullified with implant crowns since both gold and porcelain implant crowns are made in a laboratory setting, where they can both be equally seamless. 

However gold implant crowns wear down at the same rate as natural teeth. They can be kinder to the opposing teeth over the long term. So gold implant crowns have a slight advantage in that they are more gentle to the opposing tooth when eating.

Despite being very malleable, gold is strong and can handle quite a bit of pressure. Regardless of what you may have heard that might paint gold implant crowns or fillings in a bad light, gold is a very effective dental material. The primary reason many people do not want permanent gold teeth is because of esthetic reasons.

How Do Gold Implants Compare to White Implants?

Again keeping in mind that gold implants are referring to the crown and not the implant itself, many dental experts believe that gold crowns wear the best and last the longest. This belief comes from years of seeing patients who have gold crowns that outlast the white ones. But remember that many studies have shown there is not a significant difference between the two materials.

However when comparing gold implant crowns to white implant crowns, the interface between the two can be made very seamless in the dental laboratory. So from a longevity standpoint, there is not really a difference between the two materials. The two differences are going to be the wear against the opposing tooth and the appearance of the implant crowns.

Since crown color is a personal preference, choose whichever implant crown suits you best. Most people choose white implant crowns due to the small differences functionally between gold and porcelain. Also, not every dental office utilizes gold as an option, especially as porcelain continues to gain traction as a dental material of choice.

What Are Grillz?

Also known as golds or fronts, Grillz shot to popularity in recent decades as a homage to the hip hop industry, responsible for making them popular. Grillz are a type of jewelry fitted to clip over the teeth so they can come on and off at leisure, similar to the way you’d snap on clear aligners. You can also have them made to be permanent.

Grillz, especially the removable type, do not play a functional role but are primarily used for cultural purposes. In addition to gold grills, there is the option for a diamond grill as well.

Are Grillz Bad for Your Teeth?

At the time of writing, there are few studies that pertain to the safety of Grillz. However it can be concluded that any unnecessary permanent changes to the teeth are not done in the name of health. If the natural tooth isn’t modified in any way and the work can be reversed, then it can be reasonably concluded that Grillz are not bad for the teeth since nothing was actually done to them. However this doesn’t mean there still aren’t risks, even with the removable Grillz.

If permanent modifications are made, it becomes a different story. If the teeth needed protection via crowns, then they are not bad. However if the modifications are purely elective and done on healthy teeth, Grillz can be bad for your teeth. It becomes important that are done well so as to not create food or plaque traps. Proper maintenance of the gold or diamond grill must be done as well so it doesn’t fail.

Non-permanent modifications are likely not as damaging, however they may have unintended consequences such as shifting of teeth, changing of the bite, or problems in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). 

If you are wearing Grillz, use the best practices for keeping them clean, and avoid wearing them for long hours or extended periods. It also may be a good idea to have some a retainer to wear at night to make sure the teeth don’t shift.

If you have any allergies ensure the modifications do not contain any of the allergen. Some Grillz are made with base metals that can cause allergic reactions or irritation. Remain adamant about brushing and flossing to prevent potential problems that trapped food and debris can cause.

What Are the Costs of Gold Dental Pieces in Comparison to Other Materials?

In general, gold is much more expensive than alternatives when it comes to tooth fillings. The price difference is not as extreme with crowns, however they can be more expensive due to the cost of the metal. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that for fillings, gold fillings can last for a very long time. You won’t have to replace them often.

Of course, there are more factors that play into the final price, including the extent of your tooth decay, the placement of the gold filling, and any other potential issues that might come up during the treatment process.

If you think that gold fillings are right for you, talk to your dentist about what you can expect. There is plenty to discuss, from costs to aftercare and esthetics, that will help you decide if permanent gold teeth, fillings, or crowns are on the path you’d like to pursue!

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