The Cat With Golden Teeth

Golden teeth are often depicted on pirates, rappers, and nobility. The history of repairing damaged teeth with materials like stone chips, gold, or other metals goes way back.  When dentist Giovanni d’Arcoli suggested using gold leaf to crown teeth in 1483, they were a luxury only available to the wealthy. His first design protected teeth from decay better than previous materials because it was able to create a more form-fitting seal. When dentist Robert Arthur began using gold foil, a less expensive material, to protect teeth in 1855, golden teeth became available to a wider range of people. Neither dentist would ever have expected their design to be used on anything but humans.

Fourteen Carat Persian

Persian catIn 2005, dentist Dr. David Steele received a Persian kitten—who he named Sebastian— from his daughter. Dr. Steele observed that Sebastian’s lower front teeth were facing backwards so that they stuck out of his face. He thought that Sebastian would grow out of this abnormality as he lost his baby teeth. Upon closer examination of the teeth, Dr. Steele realized that they were not backwards, but rather were growing outside of the mouth. This deformity is not uncommon in Persian cats. Internet sensation Princess Monster Truck, another well-known Persian, also sports teeth growing outside of the mouth.

One of the defenses that our teeth have against damage from the outside world is the protective cave of our mouth. Sebastian’s exposed teeth were at a higher risk of being cracked or broken from collisions with objects around him and wearing down faster than his other teeth. Dr. Steele decided to take preventative actions to protect the teeth.

After holding impression material over the teeth to get the shape, Dr. Steele had his laboratory craft golden crowns to cover Sebastian’s teeth. In 2005, when Dr. Steele was looking to have his cat’s teeth fixed, porcelain veneer techniques were much less advanced than they are now, and there was no way that porcelain restorations available at the time would have resisted chipping and damage outside Sebastian’s mouth.

Protecting Your Teeth

In people, we will normally use orthodontics to correct a severe underbite like Sebastian’s. However, there are many occasions where your teeth might need protection from damage, such as that due to decay or severe wear from an imbalanced jaw. In these situations, we will recommend a dental crown, which can be made from attractive porcelain that can withstand the same bite forces we used to rely on gold crowns for.

If you have a chipped or broken tooth that needs protection, please call 303-759-5652 today for an appointment with a Denver dentist at Park Meadows Dental Care.

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