Making end-of-life decisions can be a daunting task. It is important to understand every facet of your final wishes before sharing the requests with your family. This will help reduce additional stress on your family members once you have passed away. Have you considered what happens to your dental fillings if you are cremated?
What is cremation?
Cremation is a different way to dispose of a body once the individual has passed away. Instead of opting for traditional burial methods, many individuals are now choosing cremation as it is more cost-effective when compared to burial fees and purchasing a casket. During cremation, the body is subjected to extremely high temperatures inside of a cremation chamber, reducing the body to ashes. These ashes are known as cremains. Cremains can then be stored in an urn or scattered at a designated location, depending on the individual’s wishes.
What happens to dental fillings?
Some types of dental fillings are comprised of certain metals that can withstand the high temperatures of the cremation chamber. In the past, dental fillings were made of “dental gold,” which will succumb to the temperatures within a cremation chamber. As such, dental gold must be removed prior to incineration if you intend to leave it with family members. Be aware that the cost of having a dentist remove the dental gold may cost more than the gold is worth!
Other common metals used in dental fillings are typically removed by using magnets or other standard dental procedures prior to incineration. These metals could have some value. Typically, there are two options when determining what to do with your cremation dental fillings.
You can opt to donate the metals to a charity for repurposing. You could also consider recycling the dental fillings to reduce your impact on the environment. A medical recycling company will ensure that the fillings are recycled safely.
As mercury is present in many types of dental fillings, recycling your fillings is a great way to reduce damaging emissions. Mercury can cause damage to the environment as it emits a strong pollutant when heated to a high temperature.
By requesting to have your dental fillings removed prior to cremation, you will ensure that there will not be any damaging emissions from your cremation. Moreover, some government bodies are considering imposing a fee on those who do not have their dental fillings removed prior to cremation. Arranging to have your dental fillings recycled will prevent this fee.
While discussing your final wishes is an unpleasant task, it is crucial to consider every option available to you. By determining these wishes and communicating your plan to your family, you will ensure that your family will not be burdened with making these decisions on your behalf.