Best Management Practices – BMP
From the Newsletter “Your Valley Smile” Fall 2004
Idaho State Dental Association
In 2003, the ISDA made several recommendations to Idaho Dentists which addressed everything from water lines to scrap metal in the dental setting.
Taking these recommendations into consideration and accommodating them into our new office remodel was a perfect fit, resulting in many patient and environmentally friendly changes.
Over the past 10-12 years, potential water line contamination has been a concern over the entire country. Though I know of no known cases of contracted illness from such potential contamination, we have changed from a traditionally “plumbed–in” system to a “self-contained” system, with each room housing it’s own bottled water. By utilizing steam distilled water and water line preventive measures to guard against contamination, we are confident that our lines are as clean as possible.
Did you know that the foil backing on dental x-ray films is made from lead?
Even in a small office such as ours, several pounds of lead can accumulate in only a couple of months.
By safely storing and recycling this potentially harmful material, we are confident that we are doing our best to help the environment.
Dental amalgam has been used as a restorative material for over 100 years. Though I personally believe that there will always be a place for silver fillings in dentistry and in our office, here, I do fewer and fewer such filling each year.
What to do with the mercury, silver, and tin containing scrap, has become a hotbed of controversy over the years.
To alleviate this problem in our office, we have employed the use of an “amalgam trap” in our new vacuum system, and send our “other” scrap (from extracted teeth, bits and pieces, etc.) to a qualified recycler.
Film Processing Chemistry
Little known to me when I opened the office in 1997, the developing and fixing solutions used to process photographs and x-rays pose a potential environmental risk. With this in mind, we have installed a “Chemical Recovery” filter, which enables us to safely dispose of the chemistry through another recycling service.
I am thrilled with the changes we have made since our remodel back in 2004; we were able to incorporate these changes for both our patients and the environment.