Dental offices have a specific set of rules for medical waste. Here’s the basics.
Medical waste management is considered one of the more ecological challenges that modern society faces today, but for certain facilities and businesses that must deal with regulated medical waste (RMW), knowing how to properly dispose and remove these materials is a health imperative.
Medical waste isn’t exclusive to just hospitals and doctors offices. We’ve discussed why and how tattoo parlors must follow a stringent set of guidelines for equipment removal and disposal, and also falling under this category are dental practices. Regardless of the type of practice, there will always be medical waste, and so these professionals must contract with a licensed medical waste hauler to pick up waste and deal with it appropriately.
Dental offices generate the following types of dental medical waste:
- Dressings and swabs that contain blood
- Body fluids
- Sharps, needles, scalpels, and other instruments that are used to puncture the skin
- Depending on the state that you practice in, extracted teeth may be considered a biohazardous waste material and must be handled accordingly. For example, in New York State, human pathological waste includes tissue, organ and body parts, however the exception to the rule here is teeth, along with the bone and gum structures.
According to the CDC, “Extracted teeth that are being discarded are subject to the containerization and labeling provisions outlined by OSHA’s bloodborne pathogens standard.”
OSHA considers teeth to be potentially infectious material and may require a container for removal. It is up to dental practices to consult and comply with state and local regulations for proper disposal of extracted teeth and teeth that contain amalgam fillings.
Red Bags has a solution for all dental office medical waste. We can help manage waste removal at the state level to ensure you stay compliant.
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