How much are my gold teeth or dental gold worth?
By Jon R. Warren
TRASH or TREASURE? A common event when settling an estate is discovering grandpa's old gold teeth in a drawer. Are they worth anything?
It is called Dental Gold
The name DENTAL GOLD is given by dentists to any bridgework or caps made of an alloy of gold. Not many people are familiar with the intricacies of gold use in dentistry, but there are many interesting facets of dental gold and how it functions in the mouth. Today, dentists don't often use gold in their dentistry, but in past years it was quite a common practice.
How pure is dental gold?
Dental gold is usually an alloy consisting of 16 parts gold and 8 parts other metals such as palladium, silver, copper and/or tin. Gold buyers want yellow dental gold, not white or silver.
How to sell gold teeth and bridgework?
Dental gold is valued by weight, usually gram weight (although some buyers use pennyweight). Thus, the weight of the teeth themselves must be eliminated. To do this, you must remove the teeth from the bridgework or cap. How? Simply take a hammer and smash the tooth until it falls from the gold crown or denture. Use pliers to pull any remaining parts from the gold. Next, weigh the gold pieces on a gram scale and write down the total gold weight you have. With that information, you are ready to contact a buyer.
To calculate the value of your dental gold, consider the following example. You have a gold cap, and it weighs 1 gram. There are 31 grams in a troy ounce, so you have 1/31 of an ounce of gold. But it is not pure gold. It is 16 karat, which is 2/3 pure. For simple math, let's use a per ounce price of $1000 for pure or 24 karat gold (obviously, as of this writing it is much higher). Divide $1000 by 31 to get the value of one gram of pure gold. That gives us a value of $32.25 for one gram of pure gold. Take 2/3 of that to get the value of one gram of 16 karat gold, or $21.29. But nobody will pay you 100% of the gold value, because dealers buy for resale and must make a profit. But, armed with this information and your math skills, you can quickly determine how much your gold buyer is offering.
Remember, a buyer of dental gold is a dealer and is buying wholesale from you with the goal of earning a profit. You will not get the full gold value for your gold teeth. Why not? Because like any business there is a markup between wholesale and retail (or scrap value in the case of dental gold).
Today, fillings are more commonly made of other less expensive and/or cosmetically desirable substances like mercury amalgam or polymer compounds. However, gold is still the strongest and longest lasting material a dentist can use.
If you have any dental gold, please be sure to get a quote from us.
NOTE - teeth or bridgework that is white, not yellow, is not wanted.