Blog How Much Is a Gold Tooth Worth?
A set of smiling human teeth, the right incisor is a gold tooth.

How Much Is a Gold Tooth Worth?

Did you know that gold has been used for tooth repair for more than 4,000 years? Gold boasts a unique combination of traits that make it ideal for dental use: durability, biocompatibility and malleability. From crowns and bridges to inlays and onlays, gold has been a reliable dental restoration material for centuries. But with a variety of newer materials on the market (such as porcelain, ceramic and resin), one may wonder if gold teeth are becoming a thing of the past.

What Are Gold Teeth?

Gold crown implants are a type of dental restoration where a tooth or multiple teeth are capped or covered with gold. This is usually done to protect a weak or cracked tooth that’s been compromised due to decay, a root canal, or a large filling. Gold crowns are also used to hold dental bridges or partial dentures in place.

Gold teeth also hold cultural significance outside of the dental world. In many places, gold teeth have become a symbol of wealth, status and fashion. (Think 2000s hip-hop, for example). And in some African and Caribbean communities, gold teeth may be worn as a form of adornment for special occasions or ceremonies.

mandibular gold teeth

Dental Gold Alloys

Gold teeth aren’t made of pure gold. Instead, gold is alloyed with other metals such as platinum, palladium, silver, copper, nickel or chromium. This process increases the strength and reduces the cost of a gold tooth implant.

Different types of gold teeth are categorized by the amount of noble metals they contain. Noble metals are a group of metals known for their resistance to corrosion and relative inertness. Noble metals include gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, and osmium. These metals are perfect for dental use because they’re resistant to oxidation in moist environments, like the human mouth.

In terms of metal dental crowns, there are three main types: high noble alloys, noble alloys and non-noble alloys. High noble alloys are made from a minimum of 60% precious metals, with gold being the predominant component. Noble alloys contain at least 25% precious metal, and non-noble alloys contain less than 25% precious metal.

Gold in Dentistry

Gold is an exceptional material for dental restorations. It’s soft and malleable enough to be shaped precisely around a tooth, yet strong enough to withstand daily chewing and grinding. Gold will hold shape even when cast quite thin, so that the dentists don’t need to cut too much of the real tooth down when preparing a crown.

In terms of biocompatibility, gold is unmatched by other metals and non-metal materials. It withstands rusting and degrading in moist environments, and can remain in good condition inside the human mouth for decades.

Despite gold’s redeeming qualities, patients receiving dental implants may prefer alternative materials for aesthetic reasons. Porcelain and ceramic crowns, for example, can match the color of surrounding teeth very closely, offering a more natural appearance. However, gold tooth implants are still preferred in clinical cases where strength, durability and biocompatibility are paramount. Because of this, gold will likely remain a prized element in dentistry for years to come.

A hand holding a single gold crown tooth implant

How Much is a Gold Tooth Worth?

As you may know, getting a gold crown put in can be quite expensive. For one reason or another, you may end up with unused dental gold on your hands one day. Maybe you or a loved will have a gold crown removed, and will ask the dentist to give it back (smart!).

If you have dental gold that you’re looking to sell, keep in mind that the value of your material is highly variable. It really depends on how much precious metal your dental scrap contains. Some crowns contain no gold or precious metals at all! Because gold crowns vary so much in composition, it’s hard to determine the exact amount of gold and/or other precious metals they contain without refining them. But the general range of value for a gold crown is anywhere from $0-$100. 

How to Sell Gold Crowns

Selling a gold crown to a precious metal refiner like Garfield will ensure that you get the most value from your item. We’ll perform a melt and assay test to determine the exact amount of gold in your material, and your payout value will be based on the current spot price of gold.

A dental bridge featuring 2 gold tooth caps shown from the bottom

Remember that gold dental crowns aren’t made of pure gold, and any refinery that you sell dental scrap to will charge a refining fee to cover the cost of extracting the precious metals.

At Garfield, we pride ourselves on our state-of-the-art assaying technique and paying our clients the highest values in the industry!

We accept all forms of dental scrap as-is, including dental crowns, bridges, PFMs, inlays, onlays, partial dentures and dental implants.

We hope you learned something new and enjoyed this post. Stay tuned to our blog for more helpful insights on precious metals. Check out other fun articles like 3 Fun Facts About GoldHow to Sell Dental Gold, and The Major Factors That Drive the Gold Price.

If you’re looking to sell gold dental crowns, we’re here to help. Start your shipment today!

Garfield Refining has been refining precious metals since 1892. We’ll get you the best value for your gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, and we have the industry’s best customer service. Though we serve various industries, we excel in dental refining. For the past thirteen years, Garfield has been named North America’s “Best Dental Refiner” by leading dentists!