Disposing of dental waste isn’t a difficult task as long as you understand the categories of waste you might find at your practice. If you’re looking for a way to completely comply with your local disposal regulations, getting this information from your contractor would be the best course of action since it is likely that they constantly update their knowledge of waste disposal regulations. However, if you’re looking for a brief rundown of the types of dental waste, there are, here’s an easy guide you can follow.

Types of Dental Waste

While dental waste is a subcategory of medical waste, it can have a few unique differences as well. Here are the four major categories you need to be aware of:

Amalgam Waste

Most commonly found in dental practices, Amalgam waste is the scrap waste from various dental procedures. It contains amalgam, which is an alloy of mercury and is therefore quite toxic. Amalgam waste must be kept separate from your other waste and your contractor would likely provide a separate container for it.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous Waste is all the waste that may have substantial levels of hazardous materials that can be a threat to public health or the ecological balance of the region. While rare in dental practices, certain chemicals can tend to wreak havoc on the welfare of the region if improperly disposed of.

Pharmaceutical Waste

Pharmaceutical waste is made up of unused and expired pharmaceuticals that need to be appropriately treated before disposal. In most cases, pharmaceuticals that aren’t hazardous are sent for incineration. Others are sent for treatment before being sent to the landfill or the incinerator.

Biohazardous Waste

Biohazardous waste has two sub-categories: infectious and offensive waste.

  • Infectious Waste: This waste that has been in contact with an infected person and has the potential to spread the infection. This waste must be discarded in a special container before being carried away for treatment.
  • Offensive Waste:This waste that may have a foul odour or appearance or material that has been in contact with bodily fluids. This can include materials such as extracted teeth, blood, bandages, and more.

Sharps Waste

Sharps waste can include anything from broken and used dental instruments to broken glass and other sharp objects. This waste can cause injuries if improperly discarded and is hence sealed in a hard plastic container.

How Should Your Dental Waste Be Disposed

As you may already see, it is vital to discard your dental waste in segregated containers. Your contractor will likely provide you with the different containers and bags needed for discarding the waste when you begin the contract. You can continue discarding them in these containers, and they will collect them on the decided collection days. Post collection, the waste may go through several processing mechanisms to ensure compliance, but that’s something your contractor will handle for you.

Final Thoughts

Dental waste is easy to segregate and discard when you have the help of a reliable contractor. They would help collect all your waste and also advise you on segregation whenever the regulations are updated.

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