How Much Could Dental Scrap Really Be Worth? The Answer Might Surprise You

Dental practices need to pursue every avenue for generating revenue that they can, and there may be a hidden source of revenue that they’ve never even thought of: dental scrap.

Dental scrap includes a large number of dental restorations that need to be replaced, either because they’re broken or have reached the end of their life spans. These include crowns, bridges, PFMs (Porcelain Fused to Metal), and PFGs (Porcelain Fused to Gold).

Many of these restorations include precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. The practice of using precious metals in restorations has declined in recent years. Instead, many dental practices now use porcelain and ceramic, which tend to blend better with teeth.

However, even as the practice of using precious metals is losing favor, many patients are coming in looking for replacements for old restorations that did use these metals.

As a dental clinic, you can ask the patient if they want to keep their old restoration, such as a crown or bridge. If they aren’t interested, you can put it in a scrap pile. Instead of throwing it out, consider partnering with a dental scrap refinery to turn those old and broken crowns, bridges, and implants into extra revenue.

How Dental Scrap Refining Works

Muzeum Dental Refining is a company that offers refining services to dental practices. They’re known for offering better payouts than competitors that conduct the refining process a little differently. If you’re getting the most value out of your scrap, this is what the process should look like:

  1. You collect dental scrap from crowns, bridges, inlays, and onlays in a dental scrap kit. Keep collecting until the kit is full and ready to be shipped to the refinery.
  2. The scrap you’ve collected is sent to a refinery to be melted down and analyzed. At the refinery, an XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) machine is used to determine the metal composition of what you’ve collected. This gives the refiner a precise breakdown of the precious metals recovered.
  3. Only once the product has been refined and analyzed are you sent payment. This system differs from what many refineries offer where they pay upfront. Because they don’t know the true metal composition of the scrap, they often underpay. Waiting for payment means you get a more accurate assessment of the value of the metals, and the refiner can pay better compensation.

How Much Is Dental Scrap Really Worth?

Given the small quantities of precious metals recovered from dental scrap, how much can it really be worth? That largely depends on the composition of the metals recovered. While silver prices tend to be that high, hovering around $20 to $30 USD per ounce this year, even small quantities of gold can be very valuable.

Throughout 2024, gold has been trading above $2,000 per ounce. Meanwhile, platinum prices have been around $900 per ounce in recent times.

When you work with a refinery, they will take into account the cost of refining the precious metals from dental scrap, but they will use trading prices of precious metals as the basis for their payout.

Collecting dental scrap is easy with a kit. Simply collect unwanted dental scrap until you’re ready to mail it to the refiners. They’ll break it down, make an accurate evaluation of the composition, and pay accordingly.