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More than just a filling: medical and hazardous waste coming from your dentist’s office

How is your dental practice handling the large amounts of hazardous and medical waste, including sharps, cotton, plastic, latex, glass and other materials, all of which may be contaminated with Other Potentially Infectious Material (OPIM).

The list of wastes coming from your dental practice may include:

  1. Sharps

The normal, everyday treatment of patients can include the use of lancets, needles, and syringes. Improper disposal and handling can lead to needle sticks, puncturing the skin and causing infectious diseases, such as HIV and Hepatitis.

  1. Mercury (Dental Amalgam)

Mercury is a toxic and bioaccumulative metal; it exists in elemental, inorganic and organic forms. While dental amalgam has proven to be a restorative material that is durable and cost-effective, it contains mercury, silver and other metals. The improper disposal can be toxic to plants, animals and humans when entering water streams.

  1. Silver

Used radiographic fixer (a solution normally used in the processing of dental radiographs) contains silver. The usage and improper disposal of silver in dental offices is another heavy metal that can enter the water system.

Sharps containers (see Eco30) and other waste storage containers, collected by a registered agency, such as San Diego Medical Waste, is the only way to ensure keeping sharps, OPIM and other hazardous material out of the trash and water streams.

Improper disposal of dental waste significantly contributes to health and ecological risks.

San Diego Medical Waste offers dentists and their employees on-going education, keeping their office compliant with state and federal regulations.

Improve your dental practice’s methods and knowledge of proper handling and disposal today. Contact San Diego Medical Waste Services, LLC, for more information: or 619-990-4604. San Diego Medical Waste has all your professional, medical waste needs.