Online Continuing Education / Course Details

ADA Credits: 2 | AGD Credits: 2 | Cost: $29.00

Dental Amalgam: Strategies to Reduce Its Environmental Impact

Categories: Infection Control

Author(s): Fiona Collins

Course Type: elearning

Target Audience: Dental Assistants, Dental Hygienist, Dentists

  

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Educational Objectives

The overall goal of this article is to provide dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants with information on requirements and best practices in the handling of amalgam. After completing this course, participants will be able to:
1. Describe how mercury reaches the environment and the impact of methylmercury
2. List and describe key elements of the EPA Final Rule and considerations for amalgam separators
3. Review best management practices for amalgam waste
4. Describe initiatives and options related to the future use of amalgam.

Abstract

Dental amalgam has proved to be a durable restorative material. However, it also is a source, albeit a minor one, of the mercury released into the environment by human activity. Improper disposal of amalgam waste results in its ending up in landfills, wastewater sludge or incinerators. Additionally, publicly owned treatment works (POTW) cannot remove 100% of the mercury from wastewater. The American Dental Association released its Best Management Practices for Amalgam Waste several years ago, detailing how amalgam waste can be disposed of safely. The recent EPA Final Rule mandates the use of amalgam separators to segregate solid waste from evacuation lines before it leaves the office toward the POTW. In addition, new rules on evacuation line cleaners and on the disposal of amalgam waste apply. The Minamata Treaty also provides nine measures related to amalgam, of which signatories are intended to choose at least two: to reduce the use of amalgam in the long term and to reduce its environmental impact.

ADA Credits: 2 | AGD Credits: 2 | Cost: $29.00

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