The Question of Crowns: Zirconia vs. Gold

Zirconia vs gold crowns

Dental crowns are an essential component of restorative dentistry that makes it possible for patients to enjoy a strong and beautiful smile after a tooth suffers from serious decay or damage. 

Various materials are used for dental crowns, including gold and zirconia. Each has its benefits in specific situations, and speaking with your dentist can help uncover the right choice for your needs.

The History of Gold Dental Crowns

Gold has been used in various dental applications throughout history and was a common choice for dental fillings until the development of metal amalgam fillings. Traditionally, gold was used due to how easy it is to work with and the lack of corrosion found in other metals.

Gold crowns have also been seen as a sign of wealth and prestige in various cultures throughout history. Many people choose gold crowns for this reason to this very day. However, others prefer less noticeable materials that more closely resemble the color of natural teeth, leading to other materials becoming popular.

There are many benefits to choosing gold dental crowns. They are both strong and corrosion-resistant. They also seal well, preventing the further spread of tooth decay.

While pure gold was used in the past, gold dental crowns are now alloys of several metals. Your gold dental crown can also contain platinum, palladium, silver, copper, and tin. The specific combination can help improve strength and longevity. However, it also means it’s important to discuss any metal allergies you have with your dentist.

A New Option for Dental Crowns

Zirconia is one of the latest materials to be implemented in a wide range of dental treatments. That includes zirconia crowns, an increasingly popular option that provides strength, longevity, and a natural-looking tooth replacement.

One of the biggest benefits of zirconia crowns is that the white material is very close in appearance to natural teeth. Patients looking for an inconspicuous tooth replacement can choose zirconia for a comparable appearance to porcelain or ceramic while enjoying greater strength.

Zirconia crowns often have a longer lifespan than other crown materials due to their improved durability. They are highly resistant to the cracking other materials can experience when you eat hard foods.

Zirconia is a crystalline oxide of zirconium. This material is highly biocompatible and has a reduced chance of causing allergic reactions compared to metal crown materials. Zirconia also has low thermal conductivity, protecting the sensitive inner layers of the tooth from hot and cold.

Choosing the Right Material for Your Dental Crown

If you have a tooth that has become severely decayed or damaged, it’s in your best interests to see a dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist can develop an effective treatment plan that may include a dental crown for the damaged tooth. If so, they’ll be able to help ensure that you get the right material for your crown.

One of the most important considerations will be which tooth needs a crown. If you want to ensure that your smile looks as natural as possible, a zirconia crown is likely the right choice for any teeth near the front. However, a gold crown can still be a great choice for teeth at the back of the mouth that aren’t easy to see.

When appearance doesn’t matter, a gold crown is a good choice due to its strength and resistance to chipping and cracking. It’s also the best choice in terms of the health of surrounding teeth. Gold is soft for a metal, meaning it still stands up to chewing but doesn’t wear down the opposing teeth like some other materials.

For teeth near the front of the mouth, zirconia is a perfect combination of an inconspicuous, natural appearance and durable strength. You’ll also enjoy superior longevity and biocompatibility with zirconia.

Gold crowns can also be preferable because they don’t require as much interference with your natural teeth. Your tooth is trimmed down to serve as a base for the dental crown, and gold crowns require the least amount of material to be removed. In general, minimizing alteration to natural teeth is good for your long-term oral health.

The only way to know which option is right for you is to reach out to a qualified dentist to better understand your unique situation and needs.

Dental Crowns in Wilson, NC

At Dixon, Boles & Associates, we provide both gold and zirconia crowns. We can discuss your individual needs and evaluate your dental situation to find the right choice for you. In either case, you receive a quality tooth replacement from an experienced dentist. 

You can contact our office today to schedule an appointment and to find out more about your options.

Dixon Boles & Associates