Gold teeth are so common today not just for restorative dentistry but also for cosmetic purposes. If you have been thinking about wearing a set, you may be wondering, “How much is a gold tooth worth?”
Well, the prices of gold teeth vary depending on the type, purity of the metal, amount of labor, and many other factors. Here is everything you need to know about gold teeth including the different types available and how much each type is worth.
Why is Gold Good for Dentistry?
Gold is one of the best materials for dental procedures because it is biocompatible. What this means is that your body will not reject it as it would some other foreign objects.
Also, gold is a malleable metal and can be easily blended with other metals and manipulated to assume the shape and hardness of natural teeth without damaging the surrounding teeth. It is less likely to corrode too.
While gold is majorly used to fill cavities, these days, it is used more as a status symbol. You will likely see gold teeth installed on the jawbones of celebrities and famous people more than you will see the metal used in a restorative procedure.
What Are the Different Types of Gold Teeth?
There are four main types of gold teeth, all installed differently. They include:
- Grillz: Decorative covers worn over the teeth. Some are encrusted with precious metals and jewels and can be permanent or removed as per your liking. They are also called grills or fronts.
- Crown: A prosthetic device often installed over a broken or chipped tooth to strengthen and enhance its appearance. Crowns are cemented to the damaged tooth to make sure they stay in place and can only be removed by a dental professional.
- Filling: Used to treat cavities. The dentist removes the decayed part of the tooth and fills it with gold. Gold fillings are also used to restore broken or cracked teeth or teeth that have worn out from misuse.
- Implants: Dental implants are built to mimic the shape and structure of the tooth including how it sits on the jawbone. They work just like the traditional implants, only that the parts of the teeth that people can see are made of gold.
How Much Do Gold Teeth Cost?
The cost of gold teeth will depend on the type you choose. The following table breaks down the average cost of each of the types we have discussed above to help you pick an option that matches your budget.
Note that prices will vary from clinic to clinic. Only a consultation with your dentist can help you get the definite cost of your specific case.
|Type of Gold Teeth||Price Per Tooth in USD|
|Grillz||$200 – $250|
|Crown||$800 – $1, 500|
|Filling||$250 – $4, 500|
|Implants||$2, 700 – $5, 000|
Factors Influencing the Cost of Gold Teeth
The above prices can vary based on a number of factors including:
1. Gold Purity
Gold teeth are created using a mixture of gold and other metals, and the higher the amount of gold used on the tooth, the higher the purity and the higher the price will be. Gold purity is measured in Karats (K), with 100% pure gold being 24K.
This means that if you go for teeth whose gold purity is close to 24K, you will pay more than a person who is using, say, 15K or lower.
The type of metal added to the gold will also determine the cost of the final tooth. Sometimes dentists will use precious metals like silver, palladium, or platinum, which skyrockets the overall value. Other times they use non-valuable metals like nickel, bringing the costs down.
2. The severity of Tooth Damage (In the Case of Fillings)
Before a dental filling is placed, the dentist must examine the area thoroughly to identify the extent of the damage, and this usually requires an x-ray. Anesthetic is also administered to the decayed tooth to allow for the cleaning and removal of any decayed material from the tooth.
Depending on how bad the damage is, you may have to pay more in addition to the price you will pay for your gold filling. You should also keep in mind that larger cavities or those with an infection may require extra work to completely kill the germ, and this may mean more money.
3. Location of the Tooth
Whether you are filling a cavity, getting a crown, or installing an implant, the back teeth will cost you more than the front teeth. Hard-to-reach teeth may require additional equipment and time to work on, and this may get you paying extra money.
4. Number of Teeth You Need to be Worked On
The cost of the gold teeth will also depend on the number of teeth you need worked on or replaced. A single tooth will certainly cost you less than a full set of both the upper and lower jaw.
Which Type of Gold Teeth is Worth the Money?
To answer this question, let’s go over the types of teeth once more.
Gold Tooth Grill
Grillz are by far the most pocket-friendly and least painful option when it comes to the installation itself and the removal of the gold grill. No surgery is required and you can even buy premade sets.
You can go for the 10K gold set for a relatively cheap price or the insane jewel-encrusted 24K set if you are willing to spend a little bit more. It all depends on the look you wish to achieve and how much you are willing to spend.
Gold Tooth Crown
If you are looking for something more permanent, a crown would be a better option. However, you must make sure you are patient enough throughout the procedure because a lot more needs to be done before you eventually get crowned.
For starters, the dentist will get rid of the natural tooth crowns to create space for the gold crowns. This is all that will be done on the first appointment; you will be given a temporary crown that will likely not be as good or comfortable as the final piece. The temporary crown will be removed on the second appointment and new gold crowns will be cemented.
Teeth crowning is an invasive procedure that will require you to be physically prepared. It is also a little more expensive than grillz. Depending on the metals used, the price can be as low as $800 or as high as $1, 500. If you choose to include expensive gemstones like diamonds, the price may go five or even ten times higher.
One of the advantages of gold tooth crowns is that they can last for decades. They have minimal wear than the natural crowns, which helps lengthen their lifespan, with some lasting for more than 50 years.
Gold Tooth Filling
The gold filling was more popular in the past but now it has been replaced by better and more cost-effective options like silver amalgam. Where a silver amalgam will cost you between $50 and $150, a gold filling of the same shape and structure may cost you up to thirty times higher.
Plus, as with crowning, you will have to make at least two office visits to get the procedure completed. On the bright side? Once installed, a gold filling can last you up to 15 years.
If you have an existing silver amalgam, however, make sure to let your dentist know before you start the procedure. If a gold filling is installed next to a silver amalgam fitting, you may experience galvanic shock, a sharp pain resulting from the interaction of the two metals with saliva. It is a rare occurrence, though.
Gold Teeth Implants
This is by far the most expensive option. You will need surgery to remove the entire crown and root. The procedure may be performed on the same day the natural teeth are removed especially if there are no decays or infections.
Implants will take longer to heal than crowns and fillings, but they can last a lifetime. Unlike these two, you will not need to do a replacement after a certain period of time.
One thing you need to know, however, is that for the procedure to be successful, you will require a certain density and volume of jawbone. Most people will require an extra bone augmentation before undergoing the procedure. The good news? Bone augmentation has become less painful and less invasive these days.
Ultimately, whether to choose grillz, crowns, fillings, or implants will be totally up to you. If you are looking for something relatively cheap that you can wear and remove as you like, go for grillz.
For something more permanent and more affordable, consider crowning or filling. And if you want to start everything with a clean slate and don’t mind spending a fortune on it, go for implants; they will serve you your entire life.
Does Insurance Cover Gold Teeth?
For the most part, yes, but this will depend on the type of teeth you intend to get and the procedure involved. Grillz are cheap and most people will probably not need dental insurance to get a set, which leaves us with crowns, fillings, and implants.
Most dental insurance plans will usually cover crowning and in most cases, they will cover about half the cost of the whole procedure. Some plans may even cover the entire procedure. However, the benefits may be limited or the entire coverage denied if the procedure is considered cosmetic.
If you are crowning to maintain or enhance your oral health like when covering a filled or decayed tooth or a root canal, the insurance will usually cover the procedure.
Fillings will also be covered by the insurance. The amount of coverage will depend on a number of factors including your specific plan and deductible.
How about implants? Well, usually, basic insurance plans don’t cover dental implant procedures. You can always contact your policy provider to find out what options are available for you if you choose to undergo this procedure.
No matter what dental procedure you plan to do, if you intend to use your insurance cover, make sure to double-check important information beforehand. For instance, you may want to find out if you have exhausted your annual maximum.
The annual maximum is the amount your insurance is willing to cover for you and your family’s dental care every year. If you are at your annual maximum, you will have to pay for the procedure from your pocket.
You may also want to see what they say about pre-existing conditions. If you already had a missing tooth by the time your plan started, the insurance will consider this a pre-existing condition and may not pay for your treatment.
What Should You Consider When Getting Gold Teeth?
When installing gold teeth, the most important factor to consider is quality. This is especially true if you are getting a permanent set. You want the procedure done in the most skillful and professional way.
Don’t just pick a clinic because they are the least expensive; do your research and weigh in all factors before making a decision. Maybe it will be better to spend a little more on a procedure that you are sure will yield long-lasting results.
Cheaper options may sound good but they could mean poor treatments, which could get you spending even more money in the future.
Do Gold Teeth Have Any Side Effects?
Yes, but very rare. People with crowns, fillings, or implants may sometimes experience:
- Pain inside the jaw or on the lips
- Irritation or swelling of the gum
- Mouth lesions
- Allergic reactions, especially if the gold is mixed with nickel or other metals known to cause allergies.
Some experts argue that gold alloys increase the risk of oral cancer, but research is still being conducted to find the truth about these claims.
Are you planning to get your first set of gold teeth? Comment below and tell us which type you feel more inclined to and why.