Most crowns are made from either gold or porcelain. Each material comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. There is no right or wrong choice; it all really depends on your own situation. Here are four questions you need to ask yourself when deciding between gold or porcelain crowns.
1. How Sensitive Are Your Teeth?
Having sensitive teeth can make taking a nice warm cup of coffee or a spoonful of rich, creamy ice cream into something of a trial, and the type of dental crown that you use can have an effect. One of the drawbacks of a gold crown is that gold, as well as the other alloys used during casting, will increase your sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks due to its ability to rapidly conduct temperatures. This usually passes within a few weeks, but it can be a persistent problem for people who already suffer from sensitive teeth.
2. Where in the Mouth Will Your Crown Go?
Probably the most important factor when it comes to choosing the type of material used in a crown is where in the mouth that crown is going to go. This is partly a cosmetic concern. Gold crowns will stand out from your other teeth, so people tend to prefer using porcelain crowns, which almost perfectly match existing teeth, in more visible areas. This is a nice arrangement since gold crowns are much tougher than porcelain crowns. The material will not fracture, so it's a very sensible choice for crowning teeth at the back of the mouth, which are commonly used to grind down tough foods.
3. Do You Wear Dentures?
If you currently wear dentures, you'll already have some metal in your mouth. Unfortunately, having different types of metal in your mouth causes a small electrical charge. It's nowhere near powerful enough to actually be felt, but that charge can create an unpleasant metallic taste. Gold isn't very reactive, but the alloys used during casting may be, so you could find that fitting gold crowns around existing dentures will cause that metallic taste to occur. This should not be an issue with porcelain crowns.
4. Do You Grind Your Teeth?
Finally, you should ask yourself whether you grind your teeth. This puts them under far more pressure than they were meant to take, so gold crowns are almost always recommended over porcelain ones for patients who are heavy grinders, even if the crown will be towards the front of the mouth. If this really doesn't appeal to you, you can ask to be fitted with a mouth guard to wear at night.