Can Gold Teeth be Removed Before Cremation?

If you or your loved one have gold teeth or gold cavity fillings, you may be curious about whether it’s possible to have gold teeth extracted before the cremation process. If your loved one has gold teeth, you may be interested in holding on to them for remembrance purposes, or in having the gold melted and reshaped into jewelry or another keepsake. Or perhaps, you want to trade gold teeth for cash, especially since the metal is often considered valuable and precious, and will be melted down regardless during the cremation process.

In regards to the extraction of gold teeth, most cremation providers and funeral homes admit that gold teeth are not usually removed prior to cremation. While many individuals may think gold teeth are valuable, the costs associated with having an oral surgeon remove gold fillings or gold teeth are often far higher than the value of the gold itself, according to North Carolina-based funeral director Carl Boldt. Additionally, many gold fillings are not comprised of 100 percent gold, so their value is often limited to begin with.

Another Asheville-based funeral director named Dale Groce says even though many families request the extraction of gold teeth prior to cremation, local dentists are firm in their stance against extracting teeth from bodies, since expenses for removal are far higher than the gold’s worth. On the other hand, those who have had hip replacements and other surgeries that involve the insertion of metal can have these tools extracted from the body using a magnet following their passing. Some cremation providers and funeral homes around the United States even partner with metal recycling companies that specialize in extracting metals from bodies of the deceased.

After a body with gold fillings or gold teeth is cremated, Groce says the remaining gold is often indistinguishable from ashes, and cannot be found among cremains. Families who hold out until after cremation to claim gold teeth may not be able to do so anyway.

If the body of your loved one has gold teeth, gold fillings, or metal in his or her body from medical surgery, consult with your cremation provider prior to the procedure to learn more about your options for having these metals removed from the body. Your cremation provider may be able to provide you with the best recommendations concerning extraction, or may have an existing contract with a recycling company that can assist with removal of metals prior to cremation.

At Heartland Cremation, we offer services and solutions that ensure peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Please contact us today to learn more about the funeral and cremation services we provide throughout the Kansas City region.

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