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Is gold tooth real?

Gold teeth, also known as gold crowns or gold caps, refer to dental work where a tooth or teeth are capped with a thin layer of gold. Gold crowns have been used for centuries to repair damaged teeth and can be an attractive cosmetic dental solution. However, there are some important factors to consider when deciding if gold teeth are right for you.

The history of gold teeth

Using gold in dentistry dates back thousands of years. Archeologists have found ancient Etruscan dental bridges made from gold dating back to around 500 BC. Gold is malleable, durable, and nonreactive, making it an ideal material for dental work. However, early dentistry techniques could be crude.

Throughout history, gold teeth became status symbols among the wealthy, from ancient Egypt to the Americas. Mayan nobles decorated their teeth with jade, pyrite, and gold jewels. Grillz, or gold caps on the front teeth, were popularized in the 1970s hip hop culture and continue today as a fashion statement.

Types of gold teeth

There are two main types of gold teeth:

  • Gold crowns – A gold crown is a tooth-shaped cap, usually made from a gold alloy, that completely covers an existing tooth. The crown protects and strengthens the remaining tooth structure.
  • Gold veneers – Gold veneers are thin pieces of gold that cover the front surface of teeth. Unlike crowns, veneers do not cap the entire tooth.

Gold crowns and veneers can be made from pure gold, but gold alloys are more commonly used. Typical alloys include gold mixed with silver, copper, palladium, or platinum. These mixes make the gold more durable for dental work.

Advantages of gold teeth

There are several potential advantages to using gold for dental restoration:

  • Durability – Gold is very resistant to corrosion and wear, so gold dental work can last for many years with proper care.
  • Biocompatibility – Pure gold is inert and considered biocompatible, meaning it is unlikely to cause allergic reactions.
  • Aesthetics – The gold color and luster is appealing to some people for cosmetic purposes.
  • Ease of fabrication – Gold is very malleable and easy for dentists to custom-fit and shape.
  • Preserves natural tooth – Crowns and veneers allow more of the original, natural tooth to be preserved compared to implants or bridges.

Disadvantages of gold teeth

However, there are also some potential downsides to gold teeth:

  • High cost – Gold dental work is expensive due to the price of gold and the labor required.
  • Tooth appearance – The gold color may look undesirable to some people for cosmetic reasons.
  • Tooth sensitivity – Like other crowns, gold caps can sometimes cause temperature sensitivity in the tooth.
  • Gingival discoloration – Gold crowns can cause black lines to form along the gumline over time.
  • Allergic reactions – Gold alloys with nickel or palladium can cause metal allergies in some people.

The process of getting gold teeth

If you decide to get gold dental work, the process typically involves several steps:

  1. The dentist will examine your teeth and take x-rays to assess your oral health.
  2. They will recommend gold crowns or veneers if appropriate for the required dental work.
  3. The damaged portions of the tooth will be filed down to prepare it for the crown or veneer.
  4. An impression will be taken of the prepared teeth.
  5. The gold restoration will be custom-fabricated in a dental lab based on the impression.
  6. At a follow-up visit, the dentist will cement the gold cap or veneer onto the prepared tooth.
  7. Multiple visits may be required to check fitting and make any adjustments.

Proper oral hygiene and dental checkups are important for maintaining gold dental work.

Costs of gold teeth

Gold teeth are one of the most expensive dental restoration options. Costs can vary based on:

  • Type of gold dental work – Crowns are more expensive than veneers due to more labor and gold required.
  • Amount of teeth – Prices increase for multiple teeth needing restoration.
  • Dentist fees – Prices can vary greatly between different dentists and regions.
  • Gold purity – Higher gold content drives costs up compared to alloys.

On average, a single gold crown can range from $800-$3,000. Gold veneers may range from $250-$1,500 per tooth. Some insurance plans may offset a portion of the cost if the gold dental work is medically necessary.

Type of Gold Dental Work Average Cost Range
Gold crown (single tooth) $800 – $3,000
Gold veneer (single tooth) $250 – $1,500

Considerations when choosing gold teeth

There are a few important factors to weigh when deciding if gold dental work is right for your particular situation:

  • Cost – Gold teeth may not make financial sense if dental insurance coverage is limited.
  • Oral health – Gold caps and veneers should only be used to repair damaged teeth, not for solely cosmetic purposes.
  • Metal allergies – People with metal sensitivities should use gold alloy dental work cautiously or opt for other materials like ceramic.
  • Cosmetic concerns – Those unhappy with the gold color may prefer tooth-colored resins or porcelains for a more natural, subtle appearance.
  • Long-term wear – Gold dental work may not be ideal for young children who are still growing and will need replacement crowns over time.

Be sure to discuss advantages, disadvantages, alternatives, and costs with your dentist when weighing gold teeth options.

Caring for gold dental work

To get the most longevity from gold dental restorations:

  • Maintain excellent oral hygiene with regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings.
  • Avoid chewing excessively hard foods that could crack or damage gold crowns.
  • Wear a mouthguard if participating in high-impact sports to prevent trauma to gold teeth.
  • Get dental exams and x-rays as recommended to monitor for underlying decay.
  • See your dentist promptly if you experience any sensitivity, loosening, or damage to gold dental work.

With proper home care and regular dental visits, gold teeth can last 10-30 years or longer before needing replacement. The lifespan depends on factors like oral hygiene, diet, and biting habits.

Alternatives to gold teeth

For those who do not wish to get gold dental work, some alternatives include:

  • Porcelain – Ceramic caps and veneers can closely match natural tooth color and appearance.
  • Composite resin – Tooth-colored fillings made of plastic and glass blend in seamlessly.
  • Silver amalgam – A budget-friendly option, but silver fillings are more noticeable.
  • Dental implants – Implants involve a titanium screw fused to the jawbone to support a replacement crown.

Your dentist can advise on the best material option given your specific dental needs and cosmetic preferences.


Gold teeth certainly make a bold fashion statement, but they also have practical uses in dentistry. Gold is valued for its durability, biocompatibility, and ease of customization. However, gold dental work is not ideal for everyone due to the high costs involved, potential metal allergies, and cosmetic concerns of the gold color. People interested in gold crowns or veneers should carefully consider the pros and cons relative to their individual situation. With good oral care and regular dental checkups, gold teeth can last for many years, but may eventually need replacement like any other dental restoration.