When you get a dental implant it consists of two parts: the base and the crown. In most cases, the base is made from high-quality, medical-grade titanium. For the crown, the visible part, you have the choice of several different materials. One of those options is gold alloy. Gold has been used in dentistry for thousands of years. In fact, gold teeth have been found in Egyptian mummies over 5,000 years old.
Gold crowns are not made from pure gold, but rather a gold alloy. Depending on the alloy, it contains a combination of other metals, such as silver, palladium, zinc, copper, and platinum. Pure gold is extremely soft, so these added metals are necessary to harden the crown. Just as with gold jewelry, the exact composition of the alloy determines if the crown is the traditional yellow gold color or silver.
There are several advantages of having a full-cast gold crown. Gold is one of the strongest substances known to man. As such, gold crowns last longer than crowns composed of any other material. A gold crown will not chip or crack. Gold is non-toxic and hypoallergenic. It is also believed by some to have positive health benefits, such as reducing arthritis symptoms.
As for disadvantages, there are very few. The primary disadvantage of using a gold crown is an aesthetic one. Most people want their dental implants to look as natural as possible. In some cultures, however, gold teeth as seen as a status symbol; so, this may not be seen as a disadvantage at all to some people. For the more adventurous, your gold teeth can even be customized with jewels and engravings.
If you are concerned about the appearance, consider gold only for the back teeth, or molars. Since you do most of your chewing with these teeth, having the strong gold material is sure to provide the best performance and longevity. Most of the time, people won't even notice if you have gold molars.
If you want the advantages of gold teeth, but don't want the appearance, you can get a crown made of porcelain fused to the gold alloy. This provides a good balance of aesthetics and strength. There is still a risk that the porcelain may crack or wear down. To reduce this risk, the porcelain can be fused to just the front of the crown, leaving the gold visible in the back.
Finally, if you don't want any gold at all, you can always choose a full porcelain crown. You should discuss all of the options with your dentist to determine which is the best for you.