Metal crowns are made of a mixture of gold, copper, titanium, and other metals that provide strength and resistance to corrosion. The classic metal dental crown is one made of gold, or more precisely a gold alloy. Over the decades a variety of different metal alloys have been used in making dental crowns. Some of these metals can be silvery in color and can contain a various mixture of different metals, such as titanium, vitallium, silver, etc.
Metal Crowns that Provide Strength:
Having a gold dental crown made can be an excellent choice and we always recommend these type of crowns for back teeth. Gold is a very workable metal and this helps us to be able to achieve a very precise fit with the crown. Gold crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and it would be unusual for a gold crown to break. Of all of the types of dental crowns, gold crowns probably have the greatest potential for lasting the longest. Also, the wear rate of a gold crown is about the same as tooth enamel. This means that a gold dental crown won’t create excessive wear on the teeth it opposes (the teeth it bites against).
Metal Crowns can be white or yellow:
In those cases where an all-metal dental crown is being placed, you might have a preference as to whether it should have a yellow (like gold) or silver (“white”) coloration. An alloy’s composition determines its color. The noble dental metals are gold, platinum and palladium. In most applications the overall cost between using a high noble or base metal alloy might be small, however if you have a large crown it might be a consideration. If dental insurance is paying a part of your bill, you might check to see if there are any limitations as to the type of metal that can be used. The policy might state that they do not cover the cost of high noble alloys.
You may also want to consider that some people have metal allergies. Studies have reported that about 10% of the female population and 5% of the male have an allergic response to nickel, chrome and/or beryllium alloys (metals often found in nonprecious dental alloys).
At our office we only use precious metals, unless patient requests a lower priced crown such as a nonprecious metal.