Crowns are fixed over or onto existing teeth or implants in order to cover any areas of damage. There are several different kinds of materials used for dental crowns, including gold. Dental professionals have been using crowns made from cast gold for well over a thousand years, and the material still brings many benefits, even though it may seem like one that should have been replaced by newer alternatives.
That said, gold crowns certainly aren't for everyone. Try reading through this quick and easy list of pros and cons.
Strength: It might sound odd to state that gold crowns are prized for their strength; after all, gold is known as a relatively soft metal. However, gold crowns are cast using alloys to increase their durability, and they are much tougher than other types of crowns, including those made from porcelain. Gold will not crack, nor will it wear down quickly. This means that you won't have to worry while chewing tough foods, and the crown should last for decades.
Malleability: Gold is a very malleable material, meaning that it tends to be much easier for a dentist to accurately fit the crown around the tooth. If the fit isn't good enough, the crown may become dislodged. Gold also remains strong when cast thin, so more of the healthy tooth structure can be preserved.
Reactivity: Gold is the least reactive metal used for crowns. This is an important consideration for any patients who use dentures, which often contain metal compounds of their own. Having different types of metal in your mouth can cause a very slight electrical charge. You won't feel it, but it can create a slightly metallic taste.
Cosmetics: The biggest problem with using gold crowns is that they don't exactly blend in with the rest of your teeth. Unless you want a particularly ostentatious smile, it's probably going to be best to avoid having a crown made from metal near the front of your mouth. Even rear teeth can sometimes be visible while you talk; if you're desperate not to show a hint of anything but white, gold might not be the best option.
Sensitivity: Gold conducts temperatures much more readily than other materials used for crowns. This might not be a huge concern for most people, but anyone who already suffers from sensitive teeth might find that the additional sensitivity to hot and cold becomes trying.
Allergies: Though rare, it is possible for a patient to be sensitive to a gold crown or to another metal used during the alloying process. This could mean that the crown needs to be taken out and replaced.