Largely considered the crown jewel of precious metals, gold has quite a reputation of excellence. For many involved in the dental refining or dental industries, it can be difficult to separate the concept of gold from its industry uses. Gold has played an invaluable role in helping dentists to solve dental problems throughout the history of dentistry. Let’s take a look at the history of gold in the dental industry, and how its usage has evolved over time.


166-201 AD:Tuscany

While people had been practicing dentistry as far back as 5000 BC, the first known use of precious metals for dental purposes was in modern Tuscany, then occupied by the Etruscan civilization. Before this, wire had been used to stabilize teeth in Ancient Greece, but never to build dental prosthetics within the mouth. The Etruscans used gold to make crowns, as well as fixed bridgework.



Throughout the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, people had likely been using gold for purposes similar to the Etruscans. There was never any record for it, however, until 1530. This is when Artzney Buchlein, a German dentist, wrote a book called The Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth. Among other topics related to dental hygiene, it also described how to best place gold fillings.

Gold teeth being weighed on scale



As technology advanced, so too did people’s societal values. Beyond the simple functionality of teeth, people grew concerned with how their teeth affected their appearance. Claude Molton is credited for first describing the way that a gold crown post can be retained within the root canal. To prevent dental work from affecting one’s appearance, he also recommended that white enameling be used.



In the 1800s, dental care slowly became a more accepted aspect of healthcare. To improve the standard cavity treatment procedure, a dentist named Robert Arthur pioneered a new method. By annealing gold, or melting it to create the necessary shape, Arthur developed a way to place gold within cavities with only minimal pressure.


Modern Era

In the 1900s, dentists have perfected the technique of using metal to create several dental prosthetics, including:

  • Bridges
  • Bridgework
  • Clasps
  • Crowns
  • Fillings
  • Inlays

As dental strategies evolve, there will surely be new ways to use the various precious metal. And as a dental refiner, we will always be here to accept your dental scrap. We offer several different shipping container options for the various quantities of scrap metal. We also determine the most accurate price for your scrap metal using accurate methods like fire assay. Contact us for more information.