| FAQ - Waste Treatment & Disposal - 2015
What are the guidelines for disposing of partials and dentures patients do not want to take home?
As is noted in Infection Control and Management of Hazardous Materials for the Dental Team:
Dental practices are subject to a variety of federal, state, and local regulations concerning infection control, hazardous materials handling, employee safety and waste management issues. To be in compliance, all parties must make special efforts to be aware of an ever-increasing number of governmental mandates. 1
This publication also notes:
Any prosthesis coming from the oral cavity is a potential source of infection... 1
The 2003 CDC guidelines for infection control in dentistry states as follows:
Appliances and prostheses delivered to the patient shouldbe free of contamination. Communication between the laboratoryand the dental practice is also key at this stage to determinewhich one is responsible for the final disinfection process.If the dental laboratory staff provides the disinfection, an EPA registeredhospital disinfectant (low to intermediate) shouldbe used, written documentation of the disinfection methodprovided, and the item placed in a tamper-evident containerbefore returning it to the dental office. If such documentationis not provided, the dental office is responsible for final disinfectionprocedures. 2
Any used prosthesis should be considered as contaminated until appropriate steps are taken to decontaminate/disinfect it. However, Ask OSAP is not in the position to know all state and local guidelines and regulations that may apply regarding the disposal of such used prostheses. Therefore, it is recommended that you contact your state dental board and/or state public health agency (i.e., health department) for further information on this matter.
1) Miller CH. Infection Control and Management of Hazardous Materials for the Dental Team, 5th edition. Elsevier/Mosby Publishers. Pages 186 & 192.
2) Kohn WG, Collins AS, Cleveland JL, Harte JA, Eklund KJ, Malvitz DM, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Guidelines for infection control in dental health-care settings—2003. MMWR Recomm Rep 2003;52(RR-17):1-61. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5217a1.htm Accessed on October 27, 2015.