If you have cracked one of your back teeth, then your dentist may want to restore your smile by securing a crown in your mouth. While porcelain crowns are desirable for the front teeth, you may not mind a gold crown on one of your molars. Gold crowns are sometimes a good option, so if your dentist suggests that a gold crown be placed in your mouth, consider the benefits of a gold one.

Gold Crowns Last A Long Time

If you decide to have a porcelain crown secured in your mouth, then you should know that the crown will likely need to be replaced at some point within the next five to fifteen years.  While porcelain is durable, the material is a glass-based one made from silica. The silica is crystalline in its formation, and it can crack and chip like your porcelain dishes. A typical porcelain crown will be formed in a laboratory by using a ceramic powder. The powder is mixed with water, fit into a mold, and fired in a kiln. This process is similar to the way ceramic cups and dishes are created. The result is a hard material that will form small stress fractures over time. 

Gold, and other metals, are strong as well and form molecular bonds that are more resilient than the crystalline ones that make up porcelain. Metals form a lattice between their molecules and only high levels of heat can break these bonds apart. Heat is used to create the crown based on a mold of your mouth, and the metal retains its dense and strong structure after it cools. 

While gold is a somewhat soft metal that is a bit pliable, it can be used to create extremely strong crowns. The crowns are formed by mixing gold with other metals that keep it hard when secured in the mouth. These metals include silver, copper, zinc, and palladium. The resulting crown is likely to last well over 10 years and even several decades in some cases. When the gold crowns do need to be replaced, the need is usually from the general wear and tear of the metal surface. 

Gold Crowns Are Better For Sensitive Teeth

If you have sensitive teeth, then you should choose your crown material options very carefully. If you have not gone through a root canal and your tooth is still alive, then gold may actually be a poor choice of material since metal conducts cold and heat. This can cause some pain and soreness when you eat hot and cold foods. However, most crowns are secured after a root canal is performed. If you have had a root canal, then the gold crown may be ideal for sensitive teeth near the crown tooth.

The cementing process to secure the crown in place is ideal for a sensitive mouth. When a gold crown is secured, a zinc phosphate cement is typically used to adhere the crown to the tooth. This type of cement usually causes less irritation than light-cured bonding agents. Also, the gold is gentle on the teeth that sit adjacent to the gold crown. Metal crowns can and will last longer than porcelain, but the material will not be as inflexible as ceramic. This means that the metal will not wear away the teeth if the crown rubs against the teeth. The metal is more likely to wear down a small amount so the teeth can sit comfortably next to one another. 

The same type of flexibility is ideal if you grind your teeth. If you bite down hard on a gold crown, then the metal may shift a bit in response to the grinding. Porcelain crowns on the other hand are harder than metal and crack instead of scratching or shifting. Talk to your dental professional at a place like Pittsburgh Dental Spa about your best dental crown options.