Chances are that you paid a lot for your dental crowns. Those tooth toppers are often made of precious metals, and insurance usually only covers a portion of the costs. The bad news is that dental crowns don't last forever. WebMD states that you can expect a crown to last about 15 years. There is good news, though. You can sell those old dental crowns to companies that will extract and refine the precious metal inside. Open that drawer where you've stashed any old dental work, and see if it's worth any money. Here's how to get started.
Determine Your Metal
Crowns are made of a variety of different materials. Your porcelain crowns may look good when you smile, but they are not going to be worth a great deal of money. However, if you have dental crowns made of yellow gold or white gold, you could get back some of the money you spent on the crown in the first place.
Your yellow gold crowns may have been made of several different types of gold alloys. It is very difficult to tell what you have in your crown by just looking at it. You can get some clues by looking at your dental bill and speaking to the dentist who originally placed the crown if possible. ABC News reports that the average gold crown contains about a tenth of an ounce of 16 karat gold.
Yellow gold alloys used in crowns usually contain between 10 and 22 karats. This determines the percentage of gold the crown contains. ABC News reports that the average gold crown contains about a tenth of an ounce of 16 karat gold.
Even if your crown is silver in color, it may still contain gold, platinum, silver or palladium. Also remember that some porcelain crowns are lined with metal, so be sure to check.
Keep it Clean and Contained
Your dental work will probably contain traces of blood, bodily fluids or even teeth and skin. With this in mind, keep your crowns in a sealed container or baggie.
Find a Buyer
There are many companies that will give you cash for the metal in your dental crowns, but they are not created equal. The first choice you will need to make is whether you want to see your dental crowns to a local retailer or an online company.
Some jewelry stores or cash for gold companies will buy your dental crowns. The advantage is that you walk in with your crowns and walk out with cash. The disadvantage is that the local seller will not be able to determine exactly how much precious metal is in your crown. The result is that the company is likely to make an offer based on the least amount of metal that the crown probably contains.
An online company will ask you to send in your dental work for an assay that will tell them and you what kind of metal you have and what it is worth. You will be able to choose a general gold buyer or a company that deals specifically with used dental items.The disadvantage is that it will take longer to get your money, but you are likely to get a better offer going this route. Here are some factors to consider when choosing an online company.
- Choose an online seller that will offer free shipping.
- Check to be sure that the seller will accept a small shipment if you only have one or two crowns.
- Be wary of a seller that promises a payoff in 24 hours. It should take longer than that to perform the tests that will determine which type of metal you have.
Keep those crowns, bridges and other dental work after they have fallen out or been replaced. They may be worth some cash.