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Old 03-09-2008, 12:18 AM
Windwalker Windwalker is offline
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Y Mariana (S. R.)
Posts: 1,852
Titanium vs. Gold vs. Porcelain dental crowns

I get to undergo this fun little procedure here in China. It seems that porcelain's main benefit is cosmetic; it looks better, but is more likely to break. What are the main differences between gold and titanium? Gold is more than twice as expensive, but I'm having a little trouble finding concrete information as to their differences on the Net. The dentist says that gold is better in every aspect, but it's quite common for doctors here to always pimp the most expensive procedure.

Any dental Dopers out there?
Old 03-09-2008, 12:21 AM
astro astro is offline
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Taint of creation
Posts: 33,150
I've had a porcelain crown for 21 years and I am a hard chewing man. I think porcelain's fragility is being somewhat overstated.
Old 03-09-2008, 09:39 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Wisconsin USA
Posts: 16,843
Get a porcelain fused to metal crown. You don't show metal in your mouth and it's stronger than the porcelain only.
Old 03-09-2008, 10:53 AM
gatorman gatorman is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 138
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord
Get a porcelain fused to metal crown. You don't show metal in your mouth and it's stronger than the porcelain only.
Actually, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are NOT as strong as the new all-porcelain crowns available today in the market (Lava, Empress).

First of all, I would stay away from getting dental work in a 3rd world country (that includes China). From my own experience, 3rd world dentistry is dentistry that's done without supervision and without consequences, meaning if they give you crappy work there's nothing you can do about it. Dentistry is viewed as a "guild" in a many countries and not as a medical specialty and therefore if you get bad work done on your mouth, the attitude is: too bad.

Now, to answer your question on crowns. Gold crowns are the oldest, most reliable and most time-proven types of crowns that exist. Now, obviously, no self-respecting dentist would EVER place a gold crown on a front tooth (if you ever see someone with a gold crown on a front tooth it was most likely done by a unlicensed dentist or a dentist that simply doesn't care, which means stay away from them!).

The thing that makes Gold a better material then any other, better then porcelain or any other types of metal crowns, is that Gold can be burnished, meaning Gold can adapted to the margins of a tooth preparation better then any other kinds of crowns. So if you were to look at microscopic view of where the crown ends and the tooth starts, Gold is much closer to the tooth then any other materials (its kind of hard to explain without pictures, sorry). Also, if you tend to grind or clench your teeth, Gold is the best material for you because it, unlike porcelain which is brittle, does NOT break under stress/compress, Gold simply bends.

So, if I were in your situation, I would go for the Gold. If well done, Gold crowns can stay with you for the rest of your life.

Good luck!
Old 03-09-2008, 12:17 PM
whiterabbit whiterabbit is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: In the mountains
Posts: 7,939
I've never heard of titanium crowns.

I have a gold crown on my back top right molar; I got it several years ago and it's doing fine. I know somebody who either will be replacing a gold one after about 30 years, or did get it replaced within the last couple of years (I can't remember if she's gotten it done or not). I really don't care how it looks since it's in the back, so I went with the gold (and I think it might have been a bit cheaper than the other options, obviously this varies by country).

The crown is doing great, but I hope I never have to get another. It wasn't much fun, even though the dentist was awesome.

Last edited by whiterabbit; 03-09-2008 at 12:18 PM.
Old 03-09-2008, 01:10 PM
Napier Napier is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Mid Atlantic, USA
Posts: 8,975
I have 4 porcelain-over-metal crowns on molars and all of them are badly chipped - one of them has more metal visible than porcelain. I'm getting my first gold crown soon - in fact the temporary is in place now and I had an appointment to make it permanent this past Monday but had to cancel.

This is only an impression I've had, remembering various times they've chipped, but I think that porcelain against porcelain does not move very smoothly and it is usually grinding my teeth at an odd angle that has made them chip. I would like to replace all the porcelain ones with gold, based on experience and on what I hear the gold will be like, but we'll see. Lotta money, too.

Never heard of titanium crowns. I'd think it would be very difficult to form titanium into a crown, but if they're cheaper than gold, it can't be too hard. How much does enough gold to make a crown cost? It can't be $100, can it?

Last edited by Napier; 03-09-2008 at 01:11 PM.
Old 03-09-2008, 02:50 PM
utterlyuseless utterlyuseless is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 30
I've had both and the big difference is, strength.

I have had a LOT Of dental work and what few people tell you is once you have a porcelain crown the natural tooth directly below it is subject to a LOT more stress than norma. Even though my teeth below my crown were fine, all broke and I had to have those crowed EXCEPT the two I have in Gold. Gold is a fine material but doesn't stress the tooth below it so much, so as you bite you're not wearing down your teeth as much as with porcelain
Old 03-09-2008, 04:20 PM
Ruby Ruby is offline
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Indiana
Posts: 5,848
Ditto the above on gold crowns. I've had both gold and porcelain and my experience has been that the gold ones tend to "fit" better with my opposite teeth. My teeth tend to be very fussy about exactly how the teeth fit together. So much so that I spent several days going back to the dentist to have a crown ground down until it fit right. It never really fit properly so the tooth below it ultimately cracked resulting in yet another crown.
Old 03-09-2008, 05:57 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Wisconsin USA
Posts: 16,843
I would expect the titanium to wear the mating teeth more. Porcelain fused to metal crowns show a small interface if done by a skilled dentist.


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