Why it is so Important To Maintain Your Amalgam Separator

Amalgam separators are simple, non-mechanical devices that sit within the drainage systems of dental practices. As their name implies, the purpose of an amalgam separator is to trap dental waste and separate it from wastewater that can then be safely disposed of.

With mercury contamination a big enough problem to give rise to a United Nations convention, amalgam separators play a critical role in reducing mercury pollution. In the US, dental practices are the largest single source of the mercury that turns up in water treatment plants, so not surprisingly, plans are afoot to encourage all dental practices to install amalgam separators. While there are many dental clinics already fitted with amalgam separators, a large proportion of US dental practices remain without these front-line warriors in the war on environmental mercury contamination.

The two key components contribute to a properly working suction pump:

  • A properly fitted amalgam separator
  • Routine Maintenance.

A properly fitted amalgam separator:

Amalgam separators do fill up and lose their effectiveness, and worst of all, some dental practices simply empty their separators into their general waste. Not only is this defeating the whole purpose of having amalgam separators, but it also represents a health hazard to the practice staff and, potentially, patients. Ideally, filter-based amalgam separators require filters to be changed once a year or when it is full, whichever comes first. It is not one or the other. If you have a half-filled filter after 12 months, the system needs to be changed to become compliant.


Dental Suction Pump Routine Maintenance:

That’s why it is so important to perform semi-Annual Preventative Maintenance Services on your suction pumps (single and dual head systems). A routine service call will ensure all pumps are working correctly, lines are free from the air which diminishes suction, tighten loose belts and check the levels of amalgam waste in the filters and replace the filter and properly recycle all waste.

amalgam separators

Once these systems are maintained properly, you’ll have a fully functioning office which could save your suction, and keep your office running efficiently and compliant. We’re here to help.