Gold Refining of Dental Scrap: A Profitable Look at Yesterday and Today

A timeline of dental history published online by the American Dental Association offers a fascinating overview of how gold has been used by dentists for nearly 2,000 years. Some highlights? As long ago as 200 A.D., the Etruscans were making gold crowns and bridgework. Then in 1530, a German book called the Artzney Buchlein offered instruction on placing gold fillings. (Barbers were doing double-duty as dentists in those days - ouch!) In 1746, a Frenchman named Claude Mouton devised a way to insert a gold post and crown into a root canal. And in 1855, a physician named Robert Arthur invented a way to insert gold foil into a cavity before completing a filling.

Photo of gold crowns dental scrap, which can contain gold, platinum, palladium and silver and can be recycled and refined by Specialty Metals.

The Dwindling Use of Gold in Modern Dentistry

Now that more modern materials are replacing gold in common dental procedures, it might be tempting to think that dentists and dental labs should set aside the idea of hunting around for gold dental scrap to be recycled by a qualified gold refinery.

That’s not necessarily so, for several reasons. One is that many patients who have reached the age of 60 or older are now in the process of getting older gold-containing bridges, crowns, fillings, and other dental work replaced. There’s another reason too. In many parts of the world like Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, gold is still in widespread use in dental work. When people from those areas move to the United States and receive our modern dental care, their older gold fillings, caps, and other materials may no longer be needed.

What Kind of Gold Dental Materials Can You Profitably Recycle?

By now you may be wondering what kind of gold dental scrap you could recycle profitably? Here at Specialty Metals Smelting and Refining, we are pleased to accept and recycle gold dental scrap materials, including:

  • Bars
  • Bridges
  • Bridgework
  • Clasps
  • Clippings
  • Crowns
  • Dental grindings
  • Fillings
  • Inlays

With gold now trading for over $1,300.00/troy ounce on the London Fix, it is worth recycling even a small quantity of gold. Call us at 800-426-2344 to find out how much profit you can “extract” from your dental scrap.

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