How much gold is in a dental crown?


A dental crown’s value is based on how much it contains with respect to precious metals. This value is a function of its weight and the type of precious metal alloy used to make it. Determining the weight is straightforward. However, the type of alloy used adds variability to the outcome of its final value.

The reason for this is because some dental alloys contain gold and other precious metals (such as platinum, palladium and/or silver). But some may be formulated with no precious metal content.


Types of Dental Categories

Dental alloys can be divided into 3 categories based on their level of precious metal content. They are: Precious (high noble), Semi-precious (noble) and Non-precious (non-noble).

Dentistry commonly uses Gold in its dental alloys with a karat value ranging anywhere from around 10 to 22. On average, the typical yellow-colored gold dental crown is around 16 karat (67% gold). Besides gold, this type of alloy may also contain amounts of palladium, platinum and silver.

Dentists sometimes use silver-colored alloys, “White gold” dental alloys, to make restorations. So even silver-colored alloys may contain gold and other precious metals. By definition, the term “precious” means that the alloy is composed of over 60% high-noble metal (gold, platinum, and/or palladium) of which at least 40% is gold. This type of alloy is frequently used to make dental crowns and dental bridges, or the metal substructure underneath the porcelain surfaced ones.

Which alloy was used in your dental crown or bridge?

It’s rare for a dental patient to know the precise precious metal composition of the alloy used to create their dental work. One way to look this information up would be to check your associated paperwork (such as dental work receipt or insurance form). Even those are unlikely to reveal the exact composition of the precious metal alloy used. The only way to know, precisely, how much gold and other precious metals there are in your crown or bridge is through a metallurgical assay.

How much can a dental crown be worth?

To give you an idea about the value of scrap dental restorations, let’s take the case of a dental crown. An average full “gold” crown might weigh between two to three grams. For our calculation we will assume a spot gold price of $1000 per ounce. If the crown’s alloy is 10 karat (40% gold), its value might be as much as $40. If the crown’s gold alloy is 22 karat (92%), its value could be as much as $92.

Keep in mind, you’re selling scrap metal. The metal they contain is not in a pure or usable state and it will have to be refined. This means the Gold Center will have to adjust the payout price to cover refining costs. But consider the fact that you are cutting out a middle man (the local pawn shop) thus increasing the amount you receive in monetary compensation for your dental work.

What types of Dental work do you buy?

The Gold Center is interested in the following types of dental work which may contain precious metals:

  • Dental crowns
  • Dental caps
  • Dental bridges
  • Dental onlays
  • Dental inlays
  • Dental partial dentures
  • Dental implants

Sell your dental work “as is.”

You should keep the extracted teeth that have any of the above items still attached, or gold foil dental fillings. Don’t worry about removing any cement, porcelain or tooth parts from the dental work. Doing so may be hazardous, unpleasant and difficult. The Gold Center is prepared to handle materials in this condition.

Keep in mind that extracted dental work is probably contaminated with potentially hazardous biological materials. It is your obligation to handle and transport your materials with this in mind. We recommend keeping and transporting them in a sealed container (pill bottle) or bag.