Keywords: Dental facility, water testing

Heavy metals are an issue in water supplies across the country. From lead in our pipes to runoff from certain industries, our infrastructure must contend with possible contamination everywhere, including at the local dental facility. In fact, water testing has shown that heavy metals can be present and harmful in dentistry practices.

It turns out there two broad issues related to heavy metals in your average dental facility: water coming in and water coming out. Today, we are going to look at both of these issues and discuss solutions that can help your dental facility stay compliant with local health and environmental regulations, including regular water testing.

Heavy Metals, Defined

Before we get started, let’s define what heavy metals are and which ones are dangerous.

Heavy metals are metals that are generally considered high in density or atomic weight. In general, there are four metals in particular that dental facilities need to worry about: mercury, lead, arsenic and cadmium. There are also metals that our bodies need to survive. These metals are iron, manganese, copper, zinc and chromium.

Mercury, in particular, was an ingredient used in many dental practices up until recently. In fact, it is sometimes still used in places.

The main issue with these heavy metals is that they are toxic to our bodies, even when consumed in small quantities over time. In fact, mercury fillings are known to have major health side effects the longer they are in our bodies. Lead is a problem today as it can be found in our water supplies and is known to have adverse effects on children; effects that can last their entire lives.

Heavy Metal in Incoming Water Supplies

For the most part, heavy metals are not commonly present in incoming water supplies to your average commercial facility. That said, some heavy metals are showing up in our water supplies, particularly lead. Given the delicate work of dentistry, it’s important to ensure your patients are not unintentionally exposed to lead and other heavy metals during their time with you.

Heavy Metals in Water from Dental Facilities

Another major issue facing dental facilities is the heavy metals ending up in the water that leaves their facilities. Dental amalgam, lead, silver and biomedical waste are commonly found in the water leaving dental practices, all of which can be filtered and removed. Regular water testing coupled with a water treatment plan can help any dental facility monitor water quality and reduce their environmental impact.

Quality Water Testing for Your Dental Facility

If you run a dental facility, then you will need a strategy for regular water monitoring to ensure you are compliant with local rules and regulations. Luckily, we at AquaKnow are here to help with our customizable water testing and interpretation services. We can help you get the information you need on your water quality, and help you interpret the data so you can respond to what you discover. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.  Click here to learn more.

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