For over a century, when encountering tooth decay, dentists have turned to amalgam putty as a solution. Dental amalgam is considered a safe and effective method for providing relief to the patient and preserving healthy tooth structure. However, since amalgam does contain a high percentage of elemental mercury, there are stringent regulations in place concerning its formation, use, and disposal. In this post we are going to discuss:
For over 150 years and for millions of patients, dentists have been using dental amalgam to fill cavities in teeth. What is dental amalgam? The FDA defines it as: “A mixture of metals, consisting of liquid (elemental) mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin, and copper. Approximately 50% of dental amalgam is elemental mercury by weight. The chemical properties of elemental mercury allow it to react with and bind together the silver/copper/tin alloy particles to form an amalgam.” (1) If a tooth continues to decay, the amalgam must be removed from the tooth and discarded appropriately, to lessen the risk of the mercury vapors being inhaled.
Medical waste disposal can be an expensive reality for any facility that handles bio-hazardous materials. Regulations created both by OSHA and the State identify what materials can be labeled as medical waste, and the over-classification of this waste often leads to a facility overpaying for its disposal. However, there are ways to reduce these costs associated with the disposal of medical waste. In this blog we will cover both:
Although pain relievers are prescribed to alleviate pain, some individuals find them to be the source of all their troubles—even the source of their death. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 116 Americans die from opioid-related drug overdoses each day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that opioid overdose deaths have increased over 30% in the last year, and in October 2017, the opioid crisis was declared a Public Health Emergency by the HHS Acting Secretary.
Sharps Mail Back systems are becoming more of a standard for healthcare facilities and non-healthcare facilities that may have employees or family members that self inject.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have closely monitored and tested the effects of mercury and its use in the dental industry for many years. Since the early 1990s, these agencies have been researching the link between human and environmental health issues and mercury that originated in dental offices as dental amalgam [uh-mal-gum]. Dental amalgam is a dental filling material which contains a mix of 50% mercury, plus a powder containing silver, tin, copper and other metals. It has been used for over 150 years to fill cavities caused by tooth decay in hundreds of millions of patients around the world.