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A member asked:

when a patient requests their extracted dental materials should the dentist comply to their request? recently i had a tooth extracted along with a gold crown/an attached bridge, upon requesting that my gold dental work be given to me the dentist denied my

6 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. G Funari
Dr. G Funari answered
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 45 years experience
Yes, : Yes, extracted materials are considered hazardous waste. That being said, in our office, upon request, we will clean the teeth and attempt disinfection with a special solution then return the teeth to the patient in a sealed container with instructions that they should return it to us instead of throwing out. Can't deprive a child of a visit from the "tooth fairy" especially when the tooth had to be extracted.
Dr. Harry Aronowitz
Orthodontics 44 years experience
I : I agree with you. The gold in dental restorations does not get disposed of. It gets sold for scrap and gets recycled into jewelry or dental castings. Someone will profit from it, by all rights, it should be you.
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
Dentistry 40 years experience
I : I usually ask my patients if they would like the scrap. 99% tell me forget it and keep it. Most dental alloy is not pure gold, but also contains some silver, platinum, and palladium. It is worth something, but maybe not as much as you might think. In any event, it was yours to do what you wanted to do with it.
Dr. Steven Mc Connell
Cosmetic Dentistry 43 years experience
There : There are definite disposal regulations set up by osha. However, this sounds like a personal issue between the dentist and the patient. In my office i typically return any gold to the patient if they ask for it.
Dr. Robert Devin
Dentistry 47 years experience
Yes and No: Yes this is a qualified hazardous waste. Yes it is the patients precious metal. If the patient insists keeping it then remove the organic part soak the metal in clorox for a least twenty minutes, then wash and give the patient the crown. Before we even remove the tooth we ask the patient if they want the crown or a credit for their precious metal. For a credit we go online , get the spot price.
Dr. steven Present
Dentistry 43 years experience
Yes: The crown or bridge belongs to the patient. However, it should be cleaned of any organic material and sterilized prior to returning to the patient.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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