When you're preparing to cremate a loved one, it can be surprising to be informed that certain parts of your loved one might not be suitable for the process, and need to be removed. Please don't think that this is anything out of the ordinary. Cremation chambers are designed for organic materials only, and this means that some people need to have medical or cosmetic augmentations removed. If you're in charge of overseeing the cremation process, learn about some items that need to be removed and why. 


Pacemakers must be removed before cremation. They can pose a risk when subjected to the intense heat of cremation. This is because their lithium batteries can explode, which could damage the actual cremation chamber. Although the funeral home can remove the device, you're then given the option of what you would like to happen to it. They can be discarded as medical waste. You can also be given the option of donating the pacemaker to a medical charity that can refurbish it so it can be implanted into someone else in need, either in the US or overseas. 

Silicone Implants

Silicone implants are also removed before cremation. Although the implants will not cause damage to the cremation chamber, their inevitable rupturing during cremation can lead to them accumulating at the bottom of the chamber, creating a gelatinous substance. This doesn't interfere with the cremation process, but it can make it difficult for the crematorium to collect your loved one's ashes so they can be presented to you. Again, the implants can be removed at the funeral home.

Dental Implants

Dental implants (traditionally made of titanium) are generally left in position. While they will often survive the cremation more-or-less intact, they won't interfere with the process. These are removed from the cremation chamber with the remains and are then separated before being recycled. It's even possible for the materials to be reused to create new dental implants. 

Artificial Joints

Artificial joints (typically also made of titanium) are also removed before cremation. Even though they're much larger than a dental implant, they won't prevent the cremation from being effective. While a post-cremation artificial joint cannot be used again in its current form, it will be recycled. This involves sterilization before the joint is melted down and formed into blocks, ready to be used in manufacturing again.

As mentioned, don't think it's anything out of the ordinary if your loved one's remains need to have certain items removed before cremation. It's a standard thing to consider and it allows your loved one to be cremated without issue, and with the utmost of dignity. For further insight, contact services like Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel.