Just as their name implies, this type of crown has a construction that’s 100% metal. The classic all-metal is the “gold” crown, however, they can also be made using silver-colored metals too (“white gold”).

Crowns aren’t made out of pure metals because none has the ideal physical properties required for dental applications (good strength, resistance to tarnish and corrosion, wear resistance and characteristics that make it easy for the lab technician to fabricate the restoration and the dentist to adjust it).

Dental Alloys

What is used is some type of dental alloy (a blend of metals). One that’s been engineered so its physical properties approach the ideal.

That means your “gold” dental crown isn’t 24 karat (pure gold). In fact, the “precious” yellow-gold alloys used to make all-metal dental crowns usually only run about 15 to 20 karat. (See below for more details.)

Advantages of All-Metal / Gold Crowns
Opting for an all-metal crown can make an excellent choice, if you don’t mind the fact that it’s not tooth-colored.

Superior Strength: Due to their 100% metal construction, there’s no type of crown that’s stronger than an all-metal one. (That can be said no matter what type of dental alloy has been used to make it.)

Failure due to breaking is an extremely rare event. In comparison, that’s a real possibility with an all-ceramiccrown. Or in the case of a porcelain-fused-to-metal one (PFM), a significant portion of its porcelain covering may fracture off thus resulting in restoration failure.

Superior Longevity: Due to their single-component construction and the great strength and durability characteristics they possess, no other type of dental crown can be expected to provide more lasting service than an all-metal one.

Good Biocompatibility: In terms of how your crown might affect you or your mouth, all-metal crowns generally offer good biocompatibility. Beyond that, due to the wide range of ceramics that can be used to make tooth-colored crowns, no other hard and fast rules can be stated. Studies do suggest however that some types of ceramics are kinder or gentler to opposing dentition than others, possibly on the same order as high-noble dental alloys.

Hypoallergenic: While possible, it’s relatively rare for a person to have an allergic sensitivity to a crown that’s been made using a “gold” (high-noble) dental alloy. This same statement cannot be made for base-metal ones.

Superior Fit: When a “gold” (high-noble) dental alloy is chosen for an all-metal crown, no other type of restoration exceeds the crown-to-tooth fit that’s possible. Precious alloys have characteristics that make them easy and predictable to work with during crown fabrication.

Less tooth reduction is required: When preparing (trimming) a tooth for dental crown placement, comparatively less tooth reduction is needed for an all-metal as opposed to a porcelain-fused-to metal or (almost all types of) all-ceramic crowns.