Why gold teeth were massively used in the USSR: where did the fashion come from

Anna OnishchenkoLife
Why gold teeth were put in the USSR

Golden teeth were an integral attribute of the Soviet era that could be seen on the smiles of almost every adult. They were not only a way of treatment, but also a real trend.

OBOZ.UA has collected information about the origin of this fashion and why gold teeth were so popular in the USSR.


Dental prosthetics using gold existed in ancient Egypt. In fact, it was one of the first materials to be used in the field of dental prosthetics.

In 1484, the Italian surgeon Giovanni d'Arcoli discovered through experiments that gold foil is excellent for dental purposes. However, the precious metal became most popular in dentistry in the XVIII century. At that time, gold teeth were considered a symbol of wealth, so many wealthy Europeans modernized even perfectly healthy teeth.

In the 70s of the twentieth century, the fashion for gold teeth returned to the West. Then this trend spread to the residents of the USSR.


In the Soviet Union, gold teeth were not only popular but also considered an investment. They could be given as a gift for graduation, weddings, and other major holidays.

Some people tried to get their teeth made of solid gold because money can depreciate, but the precious metal will always retain a high value. If necessary, they could be exchanged for money.

But not everyone could afford teeth made of solid metal, so those with limited budgets had metal crowns with gold plating.

Why gold teeth were massively used in the USSR: where did the fashion come from

Money laundering

Golden teeth allowed to distinguish among the general population those who had enough money. As a rule, these were speculators, criminal authorities and Roma. Often, thanks to such an expensive investment in a golden smile, people tried to "launder" their ill-gotten gains.

In addition, in the event of exposure and detention, such a person could use their precious teeth to improve the conditions of detention in prisons.

Lack of realistic dentures

In the end, gold teeth were a necessity because the USSR did not develop metal-ceramic dentures. Steel-colored crowns were used for treatment, but those who had extra money preferred gold ones.

Soviet citizens were also told that gold was much more practical than titanium and even had the ability to cleanse the body.

Advantages and disadvantages

In fact, gold was not a bad material for dental prosthetics. It is durable, does not react chemically with food and saliva, has a long service life, and the body perceives it as a natural part of the body.

However, not everyone can afford to have a golden smile because of its high cost. Also, if a person has at least one gold crown, he or she cannot install artificial teeth made of other materials, because they will interact with gold on a chemical level. This can cause a burning sensation in the mouth and the appearance of a metal flavor.

In this regard, with the development of medicine and the fashion for health and naturalness, you cannot see people with gold teeth on the street now. Unless they are elderly former citizens of the USSR.

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