How to Handle Dental Wastes
With the many patient coming in out of a dental office, it becomes quite a busy place. X-rays, cleaning, and filling of root canals and crowns are some of the activities that takes place here. The main challenge comes in disposing all the hazardous wastes. To keep the patients and the environment safe, these wastes should be disposed properly. The following are some of the ways to handle different dental wastes.
A major toxic threat when it comes to dental wastes are the amalgams. This is because of their mercury content. Wastes containing mercury should be taken to the recycler immediately. Secondary containment in the work area is essential to prevent mercury from spilling into the sewers. It is generally improper to keep amalgam in the main waste bag. Wastes containing mercury should be collected following a safety procedure and also kept in a tightly closed Container. Dentist are supposed to use filters to prevent the amalgam particles from spilling out in the sewer. Many health facilities are now using the amalgam separator technology. Scientific research has it that these procedures for removing amalgam are very effective.
There is high levels of silver in dental X-ray wastes. Following this, you should avoid washing them down the drain. Instead, you can opt for a silver recovery unit for salvage the silver. Another option is to find a biomedical disposer to dispose of the wastes. Nowadays, there are digital imaging equipment that any practices are now utilizing to avoid the challenges of disposing off silver contained x-ray wastes.
Some dental wastes also contain high lead levels. The x-ray packets and aprons contain lead foils which are very harmful to water bodies and soil when disposed to the landfills. Due to this, the waste way to handle these wastes is to find a hazardous waste disposal service that is licensed to collect and dispose them accordingly. Another category of dental wastes are the gauze soaked with blood. The best way to handle them is packaging them in leak-proof container. You have to make sure that the container has a universal biohazard symbol.
The sharp dental wastes should be stored in properly labelled containers which are also puncture resistant. The containers should be visible enough and easily reachable for the dentist using the sharps. Do not place them in cabinets, under sinks or high traffic areas. Since things like disinfectants, sterilizing agents and chemicals are also treated as harmful wastes because they can also have a bad effect on the environment. Your biomedical waste provider can also guide you accordingly when it comes to management of dental office used chemicals.