Clean Water is Everyone’s Right: Why Trade Winds Dental Uses an Amalgam Separator

amalgamHere at Trade Winds Dental we are doing a number of things to protect water, reduce the amount we use, and encourage our patients to take part in the Save 90-A-Day Cause to save, you got it, 90 glasses of water a day by turning off the faucet while you brush.

Another way we protect the earth’s water – and our community’s health – is by using an amalgam separator every time we remove a mercury filling. Attached directly to the vacuum system, our amalgam separator is extremely effective – certified to remove 99% of amalgam  – at keeping amalgam, or silver fillings containing mercury, from entering our wastewater supply and sewer system.

The Benefits of an Amalgam Separator

Many patients come to us to have their fillings restored or requesting that their amalgam fillings be removed and replaced with tooth-colored fillings. During the procedure, bits of the metal filling are washed into our water system. Without an amalgam separator, those bits of fillings would enter the public wastewater system. That’s important because one large amalgam filling contains as much mercury as in those old-fashioned thermometers we all used to use. That’s enough mercury to contaminate a 10-square-mile lake and cause restricted fishing. Six years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized that dental offices are the largest source of mercury discharged to publicly-owned treatment works. We just do not want to be part of that problem!

Why Keep Amalgams Out of the Water

We rarely think about water here in the US where we just turn a tap to be delivered a stream of pure, clean water. We turn on the tap all day long, even when we brush our teeth, and let it run and run. People may talk about limited water supplies, but the earth is made up of mostly water, isn’t it? Just look around; It seems as if there is water everywhere, so why is letting it run “a waste?” The truth is, fresh water is a commodity. More than 97% of the earth’s water is salt water. How much fresh water does that leave? Not much. But there is more. Of that 2.5% of fresh water, 68.7% is frozen – and not as bags of ice at the handy mart. That doesn’t leave very much water for people on the planet to use and drink, does it? Worse yet, in the last century, global demand for water has increased six fold.  

Water is also becoming increasingly polluted. Just take a look at America’s great rivers– about 40% of them are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or for aquatic life to survive in. As the demand for water increases, it becomes more important than ever to make sure the water we use is properly treated and cleaned before it is disposed of. Proper cleaning of water ensures that we may use water again and again. But some things just shouldn’t go in the water in the first place…and that includes the mercury contained in amalgam fillings.

To find out more about what we are doing to protect the earth – and you – visit http://www.tradewindsdental.com/greendoc-gold-certified today!