Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Gold Teeth

I’d like some advice about a grisly subject. A student in one of my
weekly classes has turned up with a bag of 4 or 5 teeth which teeth
are almost completely covered with gold fillings. Says they’re

How best to go about recovering the gold from them?

I could try melting the whole lot up in a crucible and pouring off
the gold. I guess with lots of ventilation it’s one way to go. I said
I’d ask here, so, ‘what does the panel think?’

Brian Adam

Brian, I had an undertaker give me some gold bridgework one time.
Said he couldnt put it in the crematory oven and the family wouldn’t
take it, so I put it on a steel bench block and tapped it until the
teeth broke away then melted the gold. You should be able to do the

Jerry in Kodiak

An old Amish lady brought some teeth in to sell for the gold. I
think they were still pretty warm because her and everyone with her
were dressed in their Sunday best , and solid black too. Anyway, when
I took a hammer to the teeth to break them up a little to retrieve
the gold, the smell that came up was horrendous, so be prepared with
very good ventilation- maybe even outside would be a good idea. Ed

Brian, I have done exactly that under the watchful eye of my gold
smithing teacher. Put the entire ugly mess, porcelain and all into
the crucible and torched it until only molten gold remained. We then
purified it, mixed in some fresh gold and went on to cast a brooch.
Worked very well. Terrie

Hello; My husband is a dentist and I do this all the time with gold
fillings he has removed and given the patient credit for. Just put
them down on concrete on a piece of paper and smash with a hammer
and then remove the gold pieces. Then you can melt in a crucible
and the gold will separate itself into a ball. Remove any remaining
junk and you will be left with a lumpy gold nugget. Take it from
there. Pat DIACCA Topp

Pat DIACCA Topp for enamels, glass, awards, photo
restoration 709 W. 5th Street Marshfield, WI 54449 phone 715-384-2627

Brian, Tumble the lot for a while with heavy steel shot and leave
more space( less water) than usual to increase the tumbling impact.
May want to break out any large pieces first to lessen the time
needed. This should remove the majority of “organic material”. While
working at a refinery for several years i saw this alot, and burning
teeth is NOT a pleasant smell.

Andy Goodell

You could try grinding them up and separating the bits- panning the
gold out of the calcium? Tooth enamel is also know to dissolve in
chemicals- acids I think, but I recall an experiment where they
showed cola would dissolve the top/outer surfaces of teeth…
Interesting question! Betsy

bag of 4 or 5 teeth ... How best to go about recovering the gold
from them? 

I would wrap each tooth separately in heavy piece of cloth such as
denim, and then smash the tooth with a hammer. They should break up,
since they are probably dried out, and recovery of the pieces of
gold should be easy. That gold is not suitable for jewelry since the
alloy had been formulated with a number of elements to obtain
various properties and will usually not be easily worked. It could
just be melted to form a nugget, but it would be best to have it
refined. That could be a problem since the quantity will be too
small to make it worthwhile. Their are some “refiners” that accept
dental gold from patients for a cash exchange, but that usually works
in the “refiners” favor. Joe Dule