Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Going For The Gold Teeth

When it comes to restoring teeth there is no better longer lasting restorative material that the gold only or inlay. None, no matter how you argue the case, and many have. To start with, gold onlays have been placed in patients mouth for longer that any other material, and for the second nothing withstands the punishing demands made on the teeth over years of use.

In my practice, one of the oldest in Los Angeles, where I am the third dentist (principal) to be running it, we have patients in their nineties who have onlays placed in the 1950's that are still functioning and look like they were placed last week. You can’t argue with success like that.

The longest lasting porcelain crown can only have been in the patient’s mouth since the early 1970's, because Jenkins, of Newcastle University, only developed his technique for bonding aluminous porcelain to platinum in the late sixties. By experience we all know that the porcelain crazes and can cracks off anytime after seven to ten years. Not always, but often enough to convince me that gold is better that porcelain in areas where it does not show.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want my patients having gold showing in their smiles, although if that is their wish, we can provide a parrot and patch to go with them. You have seen gold front teeth on some of our patients in the entertainment industry who wanted gold front teeth, but that was their particular preference. But take a look at this amiable smile and tell me if the gold in this mouth mars its appearance. You can't argue with work that has functioned well for thirty and forty years.

The fact is that silver/mercury amalgam, composite resin or porcelain and processed fillings don’t hold a candle to gold.

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