Why Some Dental Implants Should Have A Gold Crown

The only visible part of a dental implant procedure is the prosthetic tooth (dental crown) that's now part of your smile. The actual implant (a small titanium screw) is inserted in your jawbone, replacing the root of the missing tooth. Once the bone heals around the implant, locking it into position, the crown can be added. Most dental crown implants are intended to look as much like a natural tooth as possible (and they're usually indistinguishable from the real thing). But sometimes the tooth doesn't need to look entirely natural. 

Prominent Teeth

Your anterior teeth are those toward the front of your jaw. These are your prominent teeth and they can be seen when you talk, smile, and eat. A dentist will recommend a zirconia crown for anterior teeth. This is a type of porcelain that combines relative strength with a natural appearance, as zirconia can duplicate the translucent effect of dental enamel (which is a tooth's natural outer layer). For other teeth, increased strength can be more important than appearance.

Chew and Grind

Posterior teeth are molars and premolars—toward the back of your jaw. These teeth chew and grind, facing seemingly never-ending amounts of friction as they pulverize your food, getting it ready to be swallowed. These teeth are not especially visible when talking, smiling, or eating. A zirconia crown has sufficient strength to replace a missing posterior tooth, but it's not the strongest option. Some patients have a stronger bite than others too, which places additional stress on the crown.

Gold Alloy

A gold crown for your dental implant won't be solid gold. These crowns are made of a gold alloy, with varying percentages of gold content. The amount of precious metal in the crown can influence how gold-like it looks. But as mentioned, the look of a gold dental crown for an implant isn't its main selling point. These crowns are chosen for their strength.

Strength and Longevity

In terms of resistance to chipping and breakage, the amount of bite pressure that the crown can withstand, and its longevity—it's hard to surpass a gold dental crown. If you have a stronger-than-average bite pattern and need a crown for a posterior tooth implant, your dentist may suggest that gold is the best choice. The upfront cost is going to be higher, but the crown is unlikely to need repairs or replacement if it's properly cared for in the years to come.

The aesthetics of a gold crown might not be appealing (which is why they're usually reserved for the teeth at the back of your mouth). However, the strength and longevity of a gold crown can be extremely appealing.

Contact a local dentist to learn more about dental crowns.