When someone requires crowns, or “caps”, on their teeth it can be for many reasons. Their teeth may have been damaged in an accident or a fall, they may have decay and disease that has left a tooth unattractive in appearance, or they may have decided to have their smile enhanced by a cosmetic dentist who has determined that crowns are their best option. Regardless of the reason for choosing to have crowns, they will usually have three materials to choose from – gold, porcelain on metal, and all-porcelain. Each type has its particular “pros and cons” and many people want teeth to look natural, and therefore avoid gold crowns. While this is understandable, gold crowns are available for special reasons. They are usually recommended to patients with heavy or strong bites, or to those who grind their teeth. A gold crown will encase the remainder of the natural tooth in a substance that is durable and less abrasive to the neighboring natural teeth than porcelain.
Crowns are not always a dentist’s first choice, in fact they frequently try to find ways around applying crowns because the preparatory work involved demands the removal of a large portion of the natural tooth, and dentists have come to the conclusion that such a procedure is not always the wisest choice. Gold crowns, however, will provide the teeth at the back of the mouth with a large measure of longevity and durability that other crowns and treatments cannot compare to. This means that the gold material is less likely to be noticed, which is usually one of the main reasons patients opt not to use gold – they don’t want their dental work to attract attention. Most patients who are having crowns made will be required to take two separate trips to their dentist in order to complete the procedure. First they will have all of the preparatory work done to their teeth, after which the dentist makes a mold from which the new crowns will be made. There is a level of artistry required of the professionals who make crowns, and the better the laboratory the more realistic or natural the fit and appearance of the crown. During this preliminary visit the patient will receive temporary crowns that must serve their need until the permanent crowns arrive. On their second trip to the dentist the patient will have their crowns fitted, and if agreeable, they will be attached with a cement or dental adhesive and the work completed. People with crowns may have the occasional incident where the adhesive is compromised or a blow to the mouth or face might dislodge the crown, but this is fairly common and nothing to be concerned about. The dentist will usually allow an emergency visit where they will check the natural tooth for damage and properly prepare the surface and reattach the crown.
It is important to discuss the appropriate material for crowns with a dentist. Usually the dentist will discuss all available options with a patient and allow them to understand any risks or weaknesses around the use of one material over another.