Looking back, wasn’t it just yesterday when having a front gold tooth, or a set of gleaming gold teeth, made a person smile more? If not only to flash those polished nuggets, why would you have gotten golden crowns? With the recent rise in teeth whitening treatments and services, it’s now obvious that having gold in your teeth is a thing of the past. The World Gold Council reports that the demand for filling, capping and crowning teeth with gold has fallen by as much as 60% in the last five years.
Harley Street Dental Clinic, for example, delivers two types of teeth whitening treatment and services:
- Power Whitening involves the use of a protective barrier on the client’s gums and lips and a gel is applied on their teeth. The bleaching process begins with the client’s teeth directly exposed to a lamp for an hour.
- Home Whitening involves a custom-made mouth tray made of plastic. As it is lightweight, it fits comfortably over the client’s teeth. The client fills it with whitening gel and wears the tray for a few hours at night or during the day. It typically takes two weeks for the effects to show.
- A combination of both treatments is also an option depending on the dentist’s evaluation.
The Decline in Gold
Dentists root the decline in gold teeth to the rising trend in teeth whitening. The demand for gold in dental practices fell off by 5%, signalling the dismissal of a gold tooth as a status symbol. A dentist from South Australia recalls how he last performed a gold filling a decade ago — he claims that it’s ‘an excellent material’, only which clients despise how it looks.
Gold is heralded as the most durable material as a crown for one’s rear teeth. It also enables preservation of tooth structure, as it does not fracture, unlike porcelain.
Whiter Teeth for Better Smiles
Given that gold maintains its standard as an effective material, why then has it grown out of style?
Hugo Sachs, the vice president of the Australian Dental Association, states that the population is now in a fad that demands people to have ‘triple-A, Dulux-white teeth’. This reasoning, more or less, explains the aversion to having gold teeth – or anything else that is less than white, for that matter. After all, 99.7% of people believe that a smile is an invaluable social asset — the whiter your smile, the better.