What is the difference between dental gold and regular gold?

August 19, 2022

What is the difference between dental gold and regular gold?
What is the difference between dental gold and regular gold?

Dentists use dental gold in fillings, inlays, onlays, bridges, crowns, and much more. But why do dentists use gold alloy for dental restorations? And what are the differences between dental gold and regular gold? This is what patients need to know.


Why is gold used for dental work?

Gold alloy can withstand the conditions of being inside the mouth. It does not break down as quickly because of saliva. It also has the strength and durability to withstand the pressures of chewing and teeth grinding. Dental gold also does not wear down the neighboring teeth any more than natural enamel does. And fitting a crown or bridge made of dental gold means less reduction of the original tooth. These are the main benefits of gold alloys that make them ideal for use in dentistry.


Do dentists still use dental gold?

Yes. Dentists still use dental gold. However, it is not as common. Now, they tend to use a mixture of metal alloys, porcelain, and ceramic to achieve the safest and most durable quality.


What is the difference between real gold and dental gold?

Real gold is extremely expensive, deforms easily, corrodes easily, and has a short lifespan when in use. If real gold was used for dental restorations it would quickly distort. This is why dental restorations are made from a metal alloy or a combination of metals and other materials.


What percentage of dental gold is real gold?

The amount of gold used in the fabrication of dental restorations depends on the type of alloy composition. There are three distinct alloy types, including:


High noble alloy: This type of alloy has the most precious. A minimum of 40% is gold and the remaining 60% is a composition of high noble metals like palladium, platinum, silver, and iridium.

Semi-precious metal: This alloy is made from less precious metals. It has a minimum of 25% precious metal by weight.

Non-precious metal: This is a non-precious metal alloy. These restorations are crafted from a blend of nickel, chromium, cobalt, and other base metals. It might contain some gold, but usually less than 25%.


Does it matter what alloy a crown is made out of?

There are several reasons why the type of alloy is important. First, some people have metal allergies and the materials used in the formation of dental alloys could trigger a reaction. And while the allergic response is often benign, it can impact a person’s quality of life. Also, dental alloys come with color—usually yellow (gold) or white (silver) in appearance. Most patients prefer a restoration that matches the natural color of their teeth, especially in the front of the mouth where it is most visible. Lastly, the cost is an important factor. High noble metal alloys are more expensive. And there may be insurance policy or dental plan limitations that dictate the type of material that can be used.


Does dental gold tarnish?

The average lifespan of a non-metal dental crown or filling can be anywhere from 5-15 years. But crowns and fillings made from dental gold last significantly longer. With proper dental care, gold crowns can last a lifetime without staining, tarnishing, or breaking. Gold alloy crowns offer durability, strength, and good value.


What are the disadvantages of dental gold?

First, dental gold is often more expensive than other materials used for dental restorations. That said, dental gold still provides a great value because it lasts longer and requires fewer adjustments. Another disadvantage is that gold restorations look nothing like natural teeth. This can be a deal-breaker for many patients and is why gold dental restorations are often reserved for the back teeth where they will be less visible.


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