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Using Gold in Dentistry

Did you know gold has been valued for its use in dentistry since the time of the Ancient Egyptians? Safe, durable, and pliable; no other material can offer all the outstanding qualities that gold combines. Internationally, it the undisputed material of choice for long-term quality dental repairs.

Gold Is Safe And Comfortable
Gold doesn't just look good--it feels good--because gold is remarkably compatible with the inside of your mouth. With many other metals, the likelihood of sensitivity or an allergic reaction is a significant risk for the patient. But not with gold.

Gold Endures
On average, repairs made with gold last nearly 20 years; sometimes, as long as 40+ years. By contrast, repairs made with other materials are likely to require replacement 2-5 times over a 20-year period. So gold really is a cost-effective choice.

Gold Is Strong And Flexible
Gold expands and contracts at the same rate as your natural tooth. This protects your gold crown from chipping, cracking or breaking; which can be a problem with other less versatile materials.

The Beauty of Gold Is Lasting
Thanks to its purity and smoothness, gold doesn't darken or stain over time.

Why A Gold Crown Is A Wise Choice
A gold crown has some very distinct characteristics that make it the best choice. A well-cast gold crown fits considerably better then other materials; especially porcelain. Because it fits better, it lasts longer! The bacteria we all have in our mouths have less access to the micro-margins and therefore the inevitable decay takes longer to happen. Gold never fractures like porcelain can. Gold crowns require much less sacrifice of tooth structure and; consequently, there is more tooth left. If you are in the market for a crown, the tooth is already weak. Think about it. If the tooth is weak and needs a crown, why would you want to whittle down more of a weak tooth before putting a protective covering on it? Did you know that porcelain abrades the opposing teeth at a rate of 20 times that of natural teeth. Gold doesn't do this and is as gentle to the opposing teeth as your own natural ones. Over the long haul this can prevent other significant problems; including back of bite collapse and TMJ problems.

One of the significant advantages of gold is the relative smoothness of the material. Porcelain is microscopically very rough and food and bacteria easily stick to it. In contrast, gold is very easily cleaned. The tissue around a gold crown is considerably healthier than around a porcelain crown. Irritation and periodontal inflammation are common with porcelain. Less tissue inflammation with gold means greater periodontal health. As we age, this is a significant benefit.

Insurance companies, which are not known for their generosity, will pay for a crown again after five years. I would expect that if you maintain good oral hygiene at home, and are in for routine and preventative dental maintenance, you can expect your gold crown to last 20-50 years. When you think of something in your mouth--24 hours a day--bathed in food, saliva, and bacteria, being pushed and shoved on; a gold crown is a pretty good return on your investment. Certainly you're on the right track to maintaining your teeth for a lifetime and never having to experience the daily discomfort of dentures.

The Gold That We Use
Not all gold crowns are the same--far from it--and you should know the difference. Some gold crowns are made of an economy gold and are only gold in color and don't possess the casting characteristics so important for a good seal at the edges. This significantly decreases the life of the crown. These cheaper gold-content crowns are on the order of ten carat and do not have the tissue tolerance and compatibility of a higher gold-content alloy. They are cheaper, but in the long run you'll spend 5-10 times as much on these inferior products. The best of the dental gold is an alloy of many metals, (allowing for certain hardness factors that are required) and are usually about 76% gold or a little over 18 carat. Anything more and they start to lose other characteristics that are too important to sacrifice.

The best dental gold alloy is the product we use exclusively on your crowns. That material is called JVRT Gold. What makes this material so special are several proprietary manufacturing techniques that enable it to cast and fit much better. The fit is vastly superior to all other gold material. JVRT Gold was designed by metallurgist Dr. Richard V.Tucker. For those interested in the technical aspects of JVRT Gold, the grain size of 22 microns allows for accurate castings and resistance to marginal flaking. The 55% tensile elongation allows for controlled deformation and work-hardened margins. JVRT's 78% gold-content insures superior biocompatibility.

The JVRT Gold material, not coincidentally, is the most expensive. We are very aware of the costs involved. However, the increased wear and longevity is an excellent investment in the health of your teeth.

You can expect many years of fine service from using gold in your dental restoration. Chew in good health and please floss every day!

Roger Anderson, DMD, FAGD

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