When we think of dental fillings, many of us immediately picture the silver fillings that have been widely used by dentists for more than a century. While typically referred to as silver due to their colour, these are actually an amalgam of metals such as mercury, silver, copper, and tin. Other materials have been used for dental work as well, including porcelain, stainless steel, and gold. Gold and silver have been used not only in fillings, but in crowns, or to cover the visible portion of a tooth completely.
If you have dental scrap from old dental work that has since been replaced with other materials, you may be wondering if it has any value. Is dental gold, for example, worth as much as gold from jewellery?
The price of precious metals is on the rise, with gold and silver increasing over the course of 2021, but what does that mean for your dental scrap gold and silver?
Gold Crown Cost
Dental crowns are caps that are placed on top of a damaged tooth. It restores the shape and function of a tooth when a filling isn’t sufficient. Gold crowns are most often used at the back of the mouth due to their strength, durability, and near immunity to corrosion, though they may also be used on front teeth. In some parts of the world, they may be much more common than others, owing to reasons such as accessibility and aesthetics.
For those wishing to receive a gold crown as part of their dental work, the price will typically range from $600- $2,500.
How Much is a Gold Crown Worth?
Hearing that a gold crown can cost as much as $2,500 might have you grabbing your coat to go sell your dental scrap, but if you are considering selling a gold crown, there are several factors to be aware of before making a decision.
A typical gold crown may contain roughly one-tenth of an ounce (3 grams) of gold. Determining the actual value of the crown is difficult as there isn’t a simple way to know the content of gold and other precious metals contained therein. If you know the karat of the gold used in the crown, you can get an estimate, but this information may not be available to you.
Using simple numbers for the sake of an example, let’s say that the price of gold is $1,000 an ounce. If we assume that the alloy of a full crown weighing one-tenth of an ounce is 10 karat (40% gold) it may be worth as much as $40. If that same crown’s alloy is 22 karat (92% gold) the value may reach as much as $92. Again, these numbers are purely for convenience in this example.
How Much is a Gold Tooth Worth?
As with the gold dental cap above, the actual price of a gold tooth is difficult to estimate as it depends on the precise weight and the amount of gold in the alloy. The best you can do is to have a dental scrap refiner put it in a crucible to melt it down and assay it to know the true value.
How Much is a Gold Filling Worth?
A dental crown covers the damaged tooth to protect and rebuild it. A dental filling, on the other hand, is used to fill a cavity. The dentist will need to clean out a portion of the tooth, which is then filled with the chosen material. Some cavities may be quite small, meaning that the gold filling may be smaller than a crown. This, in turn, would make it less valuable due to the lesser weight.
Of course, the same factors that help determine the value of a crown, such as the amount of gold in the alloy, are the same for a filling as for a crown.
Silver Crown Cost
As far as fillings go, silver amalgam fillings are the most affordable of the different types available. This helps to make them the most popular choice, even when they may be less aesthetically pleasing than materials that can match the natural colour of the teeth, such as porcelain.
When combined with dental insurance, a silver filling may cost as little as $75, significantly cheaper than some other options. Without insurance, the cost can range from $150 up to about $375. The exact price is dependent on several factors, including the location of the tooth. Teeth closer to the back will be more difficult to work on due to the location and the teeth themselves are larger, both of which can result in higher prices.
How Much is a Silver Crown Worth?
There is a considerable difference in the price of gold and the price of silver. As of the writing of this article, the price of gold is $71.44 for 1 gram, while the same weight in silver is $0.96.
How Much is a Silver Tooth Worth?
Just as with gold teeth, the precise value of your silver tooth is going to depend on the amount of actual silver in the alloy and the precise weight. Measuring this requires that you bring it to a trusted buyer who can properly assess the value.
How Much is a Silver Filling Worth?
The value of your silver filling can be determined by a buyer who can melt it down to separate it from the base materials of the filling.
Where to Sell Dental Gold and Silver?
Selling to a local shop, such as your local Canada Gold means that you will get the best Gold price without having to wait. Auctions and other options are available, but you are less likely to receive a fair price and you may not be able to sell everything at once.
It’s important to find a company that you can trust, so be sure to perform your due diligence. Research the company that you are considering selling to by looking at their online reviews, the information on their website, and their social media pages. You want to be sure that you are dealing with a company that has a solid reputation. Look for a company that is known and which has been in operation for a good length of time.
Many individuals will think of pawnshops before other alternatives, but they are likely to shortchange you, assuming you are desperate to sell. Seeking a reputable gold and silver buyer will help ensure that you get the best possible price.
What Karat is Dental Gold?
Dental gold is rarely pure gold. While you are generally thinking of the value of the gold when you seek to sell dental crowns and fillings, the gold is mixed with other precious metals that increase strength and durability. These metals will also have some value, though the majority of the value of your scrap metal will be based on the gold content.
Dental gold can go from 10 to 22 karat, with the variance being based on the exact percentage of the gold versus other precious metals.
Is Dental Gold Marked?
Unlike the gold in jewellery, gold used for fillings and crowns is not marked with a hallmark indicating its purity. Dental practices should provide this information to their patients, but many will forget. This means the gold will have to be assessed by a buyer.
Something worth keeping in mind when considering the potential value of your dental gold and silver is that you are selling scrap metal. This means that they are not in a pure state and will need to be refined.
Because of this, you can expect that the buyer to whom you are selling will have to account for certain expenses when they pay you. Specifically, they will need to pay for the refining costs, which may be 15% to 18% on average, and they will need to account for the profit they need to cover their overhead. The actual payout rate is what they can give after accounting for these factors.
Average Payout for Dental Scrap Gold
To give you an idea of what you might expect, we will use simple, assumed values, which are not meant to indicate current or future prices.
You may find a company that advertises that they will pay 85% of gold’s current spot price. This means the daily closing price as reported by financial websites and newspapers. What does this translate to in terms of actual cash?
To continue using our fictitious example from above, if gold’s spot price was $1,000 per ounce, and your crown weighing 1/10th of an ounce is made up of 22 karats (92%) gold alloy, you would be paid 85% of the calculated value, or in this example, $78.20.
At Canada Gold, we have built our reputation on a foundation of ethics and unsurpassed customer service, earning us repeat and referral rates that are among the highest in the country. Stop by one of our locations today to learn more about selling your dental scrap gold and silver.