Gold fillings are well tolerated by sensitive patients and are resistant to corrosion, tarnishing, and wear and tear but are among the most expensive filling materials. Gold fillings are often requested by patients for their aesthetic appeal. Gold fillings require more work on behalf of the dentist, and thus the prices of these fillings are much higher then for plastic resins and silver fillings.
Gold fillings also take much longer to produce, and several visits to the dentist are required for tooth moldings and fittings. Gold fillings which are defective from imperfect adaptation to an enamel margin, from recurrence of caries, or from fracture, are often susceptible to repair. Gold fillings give the tightest seal to the tooth. Gold fillings have excellent durability, wear well, and do not cause excessive wear to the opposing teeth, but they do conduct heat and cold, which can be irritating.
Gold fillings are usually quite expensive, although they do last a very long time. When you have gold fillings, you can expect them to last at a minimum of 15 years with proper oral care. The dentist will recommend gold fillings for your teeth if they will not be visible when you smile or talk. Restoration of gold fillings is considerably more expensive then that of its counterparts.
There are two categories of gold fillings, cast gold fillings (gold inlays and onlays) made with 14 or 18 kt gold, and gold foil made with pure 24 kt gold that is burnished layer by layer. Recent advances in dental porcelains and consumer focus on aesthetic results have caused demand for gold fillings to drop in favor of advanced composites and porcelain veneers and crowns.