If you've been putting off planning for your final journey because you want cremation and think that it should be easy to arrange at the time it's needed, think again. Cremation can be simple to arrange, of course, but if you have anything like gold teeth that you want returned to your family, you need to have a plan in place that the crematory agrees with. Dental gold can be somewhat controversial, because there are two different schools of thought regarding what happens to it during cremation. Having a plan in place that is in line with the way the crematory thinks is crucial if you have plans for that gold.
Poof! Or Maybe Not
It's not unusual to find crematories that say dental gold essentially evaporates during the cremation process. The Neptune Society claims gold will oxidize during the process, leaving almost nothing behind. So if gold teeth were to be burnt along with the corpse, the gold would disappear.
However, other crematories disagree. Oregon station KATU reported in 2014 on a woman whose husband's dental gold was missing. The crematory claimed the gold evaporated, but KATU spoke with another crematory that noted the temperature of cremation flames isn't high enough to vaporize gold. The gold would melt, certainly, but it would still be among the remains.
Plan Ahead for the Least Amount of Trouble
Dental gold does have some value depending on its specific composition, and some people want their families to hang onto the gold after the person's death, either because they might be able to sell it or they could have other jewelry made from it.
That makes it all the more important to have a plan in place before your death, because as KATU notes, some states allow crematories and funeral homes to profit off anything recyclable from the corpse, including dental gold.
If you have not yet made a plan for what to do and where to go for your family after you die, talk to a funeral home or crematory now. Find out their stance on dental gold. If you want to have the teeth removed before you're cremated, you might have to make special arrangements. Or, you might have to search for another crematory if the first one you talk to refuses to remove the teeth. Planning ahead means your family will know what to do and be able to follow your wishes with the least amount of difficulty.
Contact a service like Final Care Cremation Services for more help.