Cremation and Dental Fillings: What Paperwork Is Required to Remove Gold Fillings?

Dental fillings are not the first thing you think of when you choose cremation for your loved one, but if you want to recover gold fillings to keep, or recycle, it’s a decision that needs to be made before the cremation process begins.

Ideally, as part of the end-of-life planning process, the family should be prepared for the paperwork and surgery involved, especially if the family wants to keep the gold fillings.

Cremation and Dental Fillings


All metal implants are removed before cremation and cremation dental fillings are no different.
Metal implants left in the body during cremation, especially gold, are now usually recycled by cermatoriums. Often families want gold fillings, which may carry sentimental or financial value, returned.

However, unless the family plans ahead for the return of the gold fillings, it may not be possible.

Gold Dental fillings can be removed and returned to the family as a memorial or to be sold for the value of the gold, but you must notify the crematorium ahead of time to streamline the process.

Hiring an Oral Sugeon

If a family chooses to have gold dental fillings returned to them, they typically have to hire an oral surgeon. Cremationists and morticians are not generally allowed to remove gold dental fillings before cremation. It’s the family’s responsibility to arrange for the removal of the cremation dental fillings.

The Paperwork

Once the family hires a dental surgeon to remove the dental fillings, the surgeon will require a consent and authorization form signed before performing the surgery. There may also need to fill out and sign more paperwork to allow the surgeon to perform the surgery at the crematory or mortuary where the loved one’s remains are temporarily housed.

After the surgery is completed, the will sign a release confirming the gold has been either returned to them or disposed of in the manner they requested.

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons a family may choose to have gold dental fillings returned to them. Not every family will want to recover the gold dental fillings of their loved ones, but if they do, they need to understand and be prepared for the process.

It’s a good idea to discuss your plans with a dental surgeon and the funeral home well in advance if possible and have the appropriate paperwork ready.

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