Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gold and you, from your Central Valley cosmetic family dentist!

Howdy, this will be a place where yours truly will put random and not so random thoughts down for all the world to see. For starters, usually people will consider how jewelry prices may increase as the cost of gold increases. It's at an all-time high nearing $1000/oz! So all those pretty earrings, rings, bracelets, watches and settings for bling will set you back some dollars ( or euros) at a price much higher than just 6 months ago.

Gold, however, is used in electronics and also less obvious items made for human useage. I'm talking about the gold alloys (gold, mixed with other metals or chemicals to create a stronger metal) commonly found in older fillings and the caps or crowns placed on teeth to preserve and restore chewing function and improve one's appearance. Even many of the porcelain tooth-colored crowns have a gold alloy substructure onto which the porcelain is baked and layered onto. So your local dentist and dental lab technician is feeling the pinch of gold's rising value on the global market. Eventually these costs get passed onto the dental patient. Gold alloys have the unique properties of being easy to shape and polish...qualities admired in jewelry and also in the fabrication of crowns, besides not triggering any immune response from the human body. Ever notice how some cheap earrings or bracelets can cause your skin to itch? It's the non-precious or non-gold metals that are causing an allergic response in your body.

Crowns can now be made out of non-metal materials, but the process is less forgiving to obtain a high quality restoration. And until recently, more expensive than the traditional method of making a crown for a tooth. Also, until recently the esthetics of non-metal crowns left something to be desired. They are however, improving in appearance as newer materials are developed. Ahh, but now there seems to be a backlash about using synthetic materials in the human body, so we may just end up going "back to the future" and using gold.

If you'd like more information regarding possible options for restoring your teeth and smile in a no-guilt, no-lecture environment, then checkout my website: or contact my office at 559-226-3010.

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