Dr. Dawn Webster takes an initial look into a patient’s mouth. It’s after an exam like this one that she can determine if a patient will need to have a gold tooth removed and replaced.

Dr. Dawn Webster takes an initial look into a patient’s mouth. It’s after an exam like this one that she can determine if a patient will need to have a gold tooth removed and replaced.

Smile: those teeth are worth something

Victoria dentists collect gold crowns and fillings to fundraise for Jeneece Place in View Royal

Bits and pieces of old teeth with shiny bits of gold transform into cash for a cause.

Matt Evans and Dawn Webster, dentists at Fort Street Dental Centre, collect all unwanted gold teeth pulled from patients mouths. Then they have it melted down and donate the money to charity.

“We just ask every patient who needs to get an old crown or gold tooth pulled out if they want to donate it,” Webster said. Most people would get between $30 and $40 for crown from a gold vendor. “We have a gold vendor who knows it’s for charity and gives us a bit better rate.”

After cashing in more than two years of teeth the husband and wife dentistry team received a cheque for $8,7000 and then the topped it off with their own funds to donate $10,000 to Jeneece Place. Jeneece Place, near Victoria General Hospital, is a place where families can stay while their children receive care at the hospital.

“I had the pleasure of getting the phone call,” said Jessica Woollard, communications officer for Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island that operates Jeneece Place.

“We always tell people who want to fundraise for us to use their skills and interests to get creative. This is by far the most unique fundraiser,” Woollard said. “By getting their patients to donate they are spreading philanthropy with very little cost to the (dental) patients. They’ve had those teeth for a long time.”

The donation goes toward the $325,000 annual operating costs for Jeneece Place this year.

The dentists decided to donate to Jeneece Place after their daughter Amelia Mae became very ill at only seven weeks old.

Vomiting large amounts of blood, Amelia Mae spent two days in hospital and her parents witnessed many children with other serious illnesses. The couple did not use Jeneece Place, but began thinking about out-of-town families with sick children.

“I got to wrap my baby and take her home,” Webster said.  “We were sitting at the hospital with the rest of the sick kids and it tore our hearts out.”

The 200-tooth collection started after Amelia Mae’s illness. Now Amelia Mae is a healthy two-and-a-half year old and has a younger sister eight-month-old Sarah Elaine.

“Maybe one in 50 people say they want to keep it, the rest donate,” Webster said. “People who refuse are often jewellers or gold collectors.

This is not the first time the couple donated gold from patients mouths. They began collecting dental gold in 2005 and have made previous donations to other charitable organizations. Most donations have spanned between $2,000 and $4,500.

 

Fort Street Dental Centre continues to collect gold, choosing a different charity each time. Gold donations can be dropped off at the centre at 102-1780 Fort St.

 

The truth on gold teeth

A gold tooth is less expensive than a porcelain one. “It’s cheaper because the lab doesn’t charge to add the porcelain on it,” said Victoria dentist  Dawn Webster.

Aside from price, Webster explained how she advises her patients to opt for gold.

“It’s less abrasive and it has a better fit. It’s less likely for bacteria to get under it,” she explained.

The gold crowns  and teeth also wear very similar to natural tooth enamel.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Police seek information after a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk at the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway on March 3.(Google Maps)
Witnesses sought in Langford pedestrian hit and run

Suspect is older man driving four-door, gold sedan

The University of Victoria has said some of its students were impacted by an off-campus exposure to COVID-19 last weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria students impacted by off-campus COVID-19 exposure

UVic has not specified where the exposure occurred

Const. Mat Jones of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined a team of Saanich police officers and ICBC representatives cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
‘Leave the phone alone’: 40 distracted driving tickets issued in two hours at Saanich intersection

Saanich police, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit crackdown on drivers’ cell-phone use

Victoria police are investigating after a person broke into and stole a vehicle from a Douglas Street car dealership on the morning of March 3. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Suspect sought after vehicle swiped from Victoria dealership

Suspect broke into Douglas Street dealership shortly before 5 a.m.

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read