If you run a dental practice or a dental laboratory and you are not selling your scrap precious metals, you may be missing out on some serious cash.
In general, the use of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium in dental restorations has been decreasing in recent years with the advancement of technology.
However, because many restorations with metal placed over the past decades have now reached their life expectancy, they are now being removed from the patients’ mouths to be replaced with new more advanced implants.
Where to start? Simply ask your patients if they are interested in keeping an old crown, bridge, or other implants containing valuable metals. if the patient declines, you can add the piece to a ‘scrap pile’ and, after a while, you may find yourself with a pretty valuable collection.
Determining the value of gold teeth and bridges can be very challenging because dental gold is often alloyed with many other different metals. In contrast to gold jewellery, dental gold is not marked with a hallmark showing the purity. Dental practices should inform their patients on what implants have been used, but over the years people tend to forget what they bought.
The precious alloys used to make yellow gold crowns can run on the order of 10 to 20 karats (pure gold is 24 karat).
Yellow dental gold normally consists of a high-grade alloy with the following composition:
– 50% to 90% gold
-1% to 30% silver
– 0% to 20% palladium
– 0% to 12% platinum
– Remainder: other metals mixed in
Also silver-coloured (“white” gold) crowns may have significant precious metal content. The hidden metal substructure of porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and bridges is sometimes made from precious-metal alloy, too.
White dental gold can consist of alloys of varying value:
– A high-grade gold-platinum alloy
– A slightly less valuable silver-palladium alloy
– An almost worthless Mo/Cr/Co steel alloy or titanium
Gold prices change daily so the value of your dental scrap will depend on current market conditions. Keep in mind that dental crowns and bridges are not worth the full market value of the precious metal as the material is not usable or pure until it is refined.
Your refiner will adjust the price you receive to cover the refining costs. It is always a good idea to work with a refiner who has experience with dental scrap. Many gold buyers simply weigh the dental work after separating it into porcelain-covered and all-metal groups and make a low offer assuming the dental work has a low gold content.
A refinery specialised in dental crowns and bridgeworks will use the most state-of-the-art technology to determine the precise amounts of the various precious metals which will give you a more accurate (and higher!) offer.
A skilled metal refiner will accept most types of dental crowns and bridgeworks, dentures, inlays, clasps, fillings, gold teeth, grindings, polishing, bars, amalgam and other metal extractions.
As part of the process, the laboratory will separate the dental gold scrap from any contained waste material at no added cost. From there, materials will be processed to ensure accuracy and maximum yield for all your precious metal scrap. When looking to create an additional source of income for your dental practice, scrap from precious metals is a valuable asset that you should consider.
It is important for dental professionals to generate profits within all facets of their practice. This includes recycling old or replaced crowns, bridges or fillings that contain precious metals.
There is a huge repertoire of techniques for recovering gold and precious metals from even the most unlikely of sources. Make sure that you are putting that extra profit back into your business and not in the trash.