When we think of gold, our minds often envision beautiful jewelry, secure investments, and even hidden treasure chests. But have you ever considered that gold may be hiding right in your mouth? Yes, you read that right!
Dental gold is a valuable asset. Be it fillings, crowns, bridges, or any other dental restoration – the precious metal can be extracted and repurposed. This makes dental gold scrap a high-demand item.
In case you’re wondering how much is dental gold worth, this is just the right place. Today’s post will discuss the factors that determine its value, average market prices, and where you can sell dental gold scrap. Let’s get started!
Is Dental Gold Pure Gold?
Dental gold is not pure gold – rather it is a metal alloy that contains a mixture of gold and other metals. This is because pure gold is too soft to be used directly in dental restorations. It can’t create a firm structure that is resistant to constant wear and tear.
So, to increase its strength, different metals are mixed in it to form dental gold. These include platinum, silver, copper, tin, and palladium.
Please note the specific composition of dental gold alloy varies with the manufacturer and intended application. For example, gold crowns usually have higher gold content than gold fillings and bridges.
This is because a crown needs to be precisely shaped according to the tooth structure. Since gold is malleable, a higher content helps achieve the tooth shape and offers a distinct yellow color for aesthetic purposes.
You can identify how much gold is used in a dental restoration by looking at the karats (K). It is a general rule; the higher the karats, the higher the gold content. However, you won’t find 24K in dental gold since it represents pure gold.
Most dental gold is between 10K to 22K – with 16K and 18K being the most common.
6 Factors that Affect Dental Gold Price
Dental gold scrap is highly valuable and can be sold for a decent amount of cash. But before you sell your dental gold, it’s important to know its actual worth. Otherwise, some buyers might persuade you into selling for low prices (sad but true!).
Here are 6 main factors that affect the dental gold price:
Each dental gold restoration has a different gold content based on the application. The more gold content is present in the restoration, the more pure it will be considered. So, a good way to assess gold purity is to look at the karats.
Usually, your dentist would have told you how much karat gold was used to make your specific dental gold. But if you’ve forgotten, you would need a professional to assess it. Make sure to choose a reputable expert to avoid getting scammed.
For reference, here’s the purity level chart for dental gold:
The weight of dental gold restoration is another important factor that is often considered alongside the purity level. If the gold is heavier and purer, it will be more valuable than the lighter one.
Gold is typically weighed in grams or ounces. Here are some approximate ranges for the weight of gold commonly used in dental restorations:
- Gold crown; 2 to 5 grams (0.07 to 0.18 ounces)
Crown refers to the cap used to cover a decayed tooth. Its weight varies depending on the size of the tooth and the type of alloy used in the making.
- Gold fillings; 0.5 to 2 grams (0.02 to 0.07 ounces)
Also called inlays or onlays, a filling is used to repair tooth cavities. Liquid dental gold is filled inside the hole and allowed to dry up. These dental fillings are generally smaller than crowns and weigh much less.
- Gold bridges; 2 to 4 grams (0.07 to 0.14 ounces)
A bridge is an artificial tooth or crown to fill the gap between two teeth. Its weight is affected by the specific tooth structure and number of teeth required.
Gold is one of the strongest materials used in dentistry. On average, dental work with gold lasts 40 years. It will wear out after that period and come off in pieces or poor condition. This is considered to be scrap and doesn’t sell for much.
However, if your dental gold came off earlier or you maintained it well, it would have minimal signs of wear and damage. The smoothness, shine, and overall visual appeal of the dental restoration will help sell it for higher values.
4. Market Price
Gold prices keep changing based on supply and demand, economic conditions, and various other factors. For example, the gold price per ounce in the USA was $1801.87 in 2022. It is $1920 per ounce in 2023.
That’s relatively a small change. But, in other countries, this rate can fluctuate significantly. So, it’s important to stay updated about the latest market trends and the current gold price.
5. Refining Costs
Since dental gold isn’t pure gold, a refining process is necessary to separate the metals from the gold. The refiner will charge you a fee for it, which can be anywhere from $20 to $50 per gram.
If you ask them to assess the purity level, there will be additional charges. Sometimes, gold buyer companies perform the refining and purity assessment themselves. In this case, they will deduct the service charges from the selling price (which can vary from company to company).
Authentication refers to having documentation, certification, or proof of the gold’s purity, origin, and overall quality. It assures the buyer that what you claim about your dental gold is 100% genuine.
As a result, more buyers are ready to purchase – making it easy for you to demand higher prices.
So, How Much is Dental Gold Worth?
Now that we know about what influences the dental gold price. You really need to research the qualities of your dental gold and estimate the price accordingly. But if you’re short on time and need average estimates, let us help you!
Dental gold is worth $40 to $100 per gram of gold content. For example, a 3 grams gold crown with a 70% purity level can sell for $117. Meanwhile, a 5 grams gold crown with an 80% purity level can sell for $222.
Restorations with higher gold content are worth more. For example, a dental bridge of 10 grams and 70% purity level can sell for $390. If you increase the weight to 17 grams, the same dental bridge can be sold for $760 (almost double the price!).
Please note these are average values, and the actual price can be way more or less depending on your particular dental gold and market conditions.
Where Can You Sell Dental Gold?
If you’ve determined your dental gold worth and are looking for places to sell it, here are some common options to consider:
1. Online Gold Scrap Buyers
Multiple online companies specialize in buying dental gold. This method is most convenient because you sell your dental gold without having to step out of your home.
Just request a free shipping kit, send your gold for evaluation, and receive a custom quote. Or, if you’ve already done the evaluation, share the gold pictures and video with the company. But in any case, first, make sure the online company is reputable and trustworthy.
2. Local Gold Shops
Local jewelry stores and pawnshops often buy dental gold. They will manually assess the value of gold and scrap metal. Their calculation will be based on weight, purity level, and current market conditions.
If you want to get the best deal, find reliable dental gold buyers in your area and compare their offers.
Directly selling gold to refiners is an excellent option for those with larger quantities of dental gold. They will conduct a professional assessment and offer competitive prices for the precious metal content.
4. Dentists or Laboratories
In some cases, dentists or dental labs may be interested in buying your dental gold. They can repurpose the gold for future restorations, resell it to dealers, or use it for educational purposes.
It’s best to reach out to your local dentists or laboratories and inquire if they buy dental scrap.
How Much is a Set of Gold Teeth Worth?
A gold tooth can be worth $800 to $1000+ depending on the purity and weight. Typically, a set of gold teeth is worth thousands of dollars.
What Do Dentist Do with Gold Crowns They Remove?
Dentists usually sell gold dental crowns to middlemen who further sell them to refineries. Sometimes, a dentist may directly sell the dental gold scrap to a company or keep it for study purposes.
By now, we hope you have a good idea of how much is dental gold worth. It has an average price of $40 to $100 per gram. However, the actual price of your dental gold restoration can be affected by the following factors:
- Market price
- Refining costs
You can determine your dental gold worth by researching the factors yourself. But we highly recommend seeking a professional evaluation for a more accurate price. Happy selling!