700 Industrial Drive, Ste K, Cary IL 60013

Hazardous Waste in Dentistry

The dental profession is easily one of the careers that make more of a difference in people’s lives. Giving new smiles, preventive care, and alleviating pain are just a few of the benefits that come from visiting a dental office. But to effectively provide their services, dental clinics inevitably must generate different types of waste, among which we can find hazardous materials. That is why dental hazardous waste disposal strategies must be thoroughly considered by all dental professionals.

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Dental Hazardous Waste Disposal Regulations

Hazardous waste in dentistry, like any other medical waste, is regulated by national and local agencies and requires proper disposal given that it can present a potential risk for human and environmental health. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, or RCRA, was approved in 1976, and it established how to manage hazardous waste materials. This act provides a framework that seeks to make sure hazardous waste is managed safely from “cradle to grave,” meaning waste is regulated from the time it is created until it is disposed of, considering also its transportation, treatment, handling, and storage.

But this regulation contains mostly general directions for the correct disposal of hazardous waste. State and local governments might apply more strict regulations. Therefore, dentists must proactively inform themselves about these requirements and make sure to comply.

How to Manage Dental Hazardous Waste

Among medical professionals, dentists are one of the most commonly exposed to the danger of infections and contamination from close contact with hazardous waste. The key to minimizing such a threat is the proper disposal of hazardous waste in dentistry. 

Here are some of the main rules a dental practitioner and the concerned auxiliaries should follow to minimize the risk.

Proper Disposal

Gloves, masks, and the patient’s napkin are the objects that contain the highest amount of bacteria and microorganisms. It is advisable to throw them in a garbage container that has a proper lid and is not exposed to the environment. Other types of waste, like sharps, have their own rules for disposal.

Contain Biological waste

Waste like blood-soaked cotton, gauzes, and any materials containing boldly fluids need to be enclosed in a biomedical container or double bag, correctly labeled, and refrigerated. Check these dental waste management guidelines to know how to handle all types of waste.

Replacement of Hazardous Materials

There are certain dental materials, such as amalgam cavity filling material, that contain mercury. Since mercury is a very poisonous material, its disposal should also be done in such a way that does not cause any risk to the surroundings. However, amalgam fillings can easily be replaced by composite fillings.

Non-Hazardous Waste

Managing any kind of waste, even if it doesn’t represent a hazard, is important for regulations and environmental safeguards. Recyclable items like plastic, paper, and glass can be easily managed. But what about dental scrap? Dental scrap is not listed as a dental hazardous waste, even though some of the precious metals that are present in this kind of scrap can be of harm to the environment. It is the responsibility of the dental clinic to consider this waste and proceed to its proper disposal. 

The good news is that recycling dental scrap can bring a benefit not only to the environment but also to the dental clinic, as it can generate a good income given the value of the precious metals that dental scrap contains. To make sure you get the best benefit from your recycling, you need to work with the best precious metal refinery to guarantee you receive the highest return and transparency throughout the process.

Looking for the best precious metal refinery?

Core Scientific is the leader of dental scrap recycling in the USA. We pay our clients 2 to 5 times more than any other refinery because we keep a policy of 100% transparency, and we use the latest refining and assaying technologies that allow us to recover more materials and therefore pay you more and have a more positive impact on the environment.

You can request a container now, or you can get in touch with us if you want to know more about our process.



700 Industrial Drive, Ste K

Cary IL

60013, United States

Phone: 866-660-4631

Working hours:

Monday-Friday: 9:00 – 5:00

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: Closed

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[…] which is a classified medical waste. The FDA recommends that amalgam separators be managed as hazardous waste with respect to all relevant regulations. You should discard these items according to local, state, […]

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