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Choosing the right gold for dental crowns

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Oct 26, 2021
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Over the past year we’ve seen an increase in prescriptions for gold crowns, often paired with one or more of the following queries:

  1. Composition details for patients with nickel allergies
  2. Description of the different metal shades available
  3. Price estimates for precious metals
  4. Which metals can be used for NHS dentistry

While metal prices fluctuate according to market rates, we’ve put together a quick reference below including a visual of the shade differences and a breakdown of today’s prices.

Nickel Allergies

We are a nickel-free laboratory. Our non-precious silver is a cobalt-chrome alloy. For semi-precious silver we switched from palladium to platinum alloy in 2020 as they are virtually identical from working and aesthetic perspectives, but platinum is now much more cost-effective for use in dentistry. You can request a full composition breakdown on any of our metals or past restorations by emailing us at [email protected].

Metal Shades

The crowns are shown in the following order (left to right): Non-Precious (silver-coloured), Semi-Precious (silver-coloured), 2% Gold, 40% Gold, 60% Gold

The next time a patient asks what their new restoration will look like, feel free to show them the visual comparison of sintered crowns above.

As you can see, 60% gold is the most warm-yellow in appearance and the 2% has a pinkish rose-gold tint to it which patients may wish to be aware of when considering gold restorations in aesthetic zones.

Metal Prices

MetalPrice per 0.1 gram
Non-Precious (silver-coloured)  N/A (included as standard)
Semi-Precious (silver-coloured)  £2.37
2% Gold  £3.62
40% Gold  £4.07
60% Gold  £5.31
Prices correct as of 26.10.21

Due to their nature as custom medical devices, we cannot tell you in advance how much metal will be used in fabricating a restoration. Crowns frequently come in around 2-3g, but we also see them in excess of 5g or more. Please note that precious metal prices can change rapidly, feel free to email us on [email protected] for up-to-date prices at the point of prescription.

NHS Regulations on Precious Metals

We can make both NHS & Private restorations in the materials listed above, but in the UK there are legal restrictions over which metals may be used in NHS cases. We strongly urge all our clients to check current NHS and regional restrictions as necessary.

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