When you first encounter people, often something usually stands out. It might be their hairstyle or perhaps their eye color. Or it could be another characteristic: their smile. A sea of white shining from one's mouth is certain to draw many a gaze. But what if that mouthful of white teeth features a small section of gold? Right away you can tell that person has a gold crown. It's an intriguing look for sure. Here's everything you need to know about a gold tooth crown.
What is a Crown?
A crown, commonly referred to as a cap, is a prosthetic device placed over a broken down tooth to strengthen it and improve its appearance. It comes in the shape of a tooth so it's hard to tell the difference assuming the crown was designed to match the color of the existing teeth. Each crown is cemented to the tooth it is made for and held in place. It can only be removed by a dentist.
Reasons for a Crown
In some instances a crown is necessary for your mouth's well-being. Some common ones are as follows:
- Prevents a weakened tooth from fracturing or restores an already fractured tooth.
- As a tooth replacement when not enough tooth remains.
- To serve as a cover for a root canal, a dental implant or a discolored tooth.
Crowns typically are made from four materials: gold, base metal alloys, ceramic, or porcelain-fused metal. A dentist will be able to recommend the type of crown and discuss the pros and cons of each.
Though it's called a gold crown, it's actually a combination of gold, copper and other metals. Besides the obvious unique smile you'll have after completion, a gold tooth crown provides many positive benefits as noted by the American Dental Association:
- Seals well to prevent leakage and recurrent tooth decay.
- Highly resistant to corrosion, fracture and wear due to its strength.
- Minimal amount of healthy tooth removal is necessary due to the strength of the metals.
- Very resistant to wear while gentle to adjacent teeth.
- Extremely fracture-resistant.
- High tolerance of biocompatibility.
History of Gold Crowns
Constructing crowns from gold dates back as far as 4,000 years ago in Southeast Asia, according to an academic paper titled "Gold Work, Filing and Blackened Teeth: Dental Modifications in Luzon." Modifying teeth, be it gold, blackening or filing, was a method of beautification.
In Luzon, an island in the Philippines, the earliest traces of gold teeth were found between the fourteenth and fifteenth century. Gold teeth were also discovered when the Spaniards colonized the Philippines in 1571, though the Spaniards did not approve of the practice.
The study concludes that gold teeth resulted as a sign of social distinction for chiefs and the political ruling class of Southeast Asia. The appearance of gold teeth symbolizes wealth, power and status. They're commonly found in the mouths of famous athletes and musicians today.
Whether you have a crown, a gold tooth crown or you haven't had any major dental work, keeping your teeth and gums healthy should be a priority. That means scheduling regular check-ups with your dentist. He or she is a great source for information, such as proper brushing technique or how to identify the onset of gingivitis. The rest is left up to you. Be diligent with your daily routine. That means brushing at least twice each day, flossing and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash like Colgate Total® Mouthwash for Gum Health. Even though gold crowns may look cool, take care of your teeth and you won't need a crown at all.