May is Better Sleep Month

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The objective of Better Sleep Month
Encouraging healthy lives through better sleep. Refreshing sleep is just as important as diet and exercise in maintaining your health. Poor sleep, in contrast, can lead to increased blood pressure, stress, irritability, concentration problems and a weakened immune system.

Establishing Better Sleep Patterns
• Maintain a consistent sleep schedule – even on the weekends
• Relax prior to sleep with relaxing activities like reading, and limit stimulating ones.
• Proper diet and exercise support better sleep
• Avoid alcohol, nicotine and caffeine close to bed time.
• Take control of your sleeping environment. Dark, quiet and comfortable surroundings are important, as is your bedding quality and space. Remember to remove distractions in the bed- room.

How Much Sleep is Needed
The quality of sleep is a very important factor. Six hours of deep refreshing sleep is more beneficial than eight hours of light interrupted sleep. Many experts suggest 7.5 to 8.5 hours is optimal.

Achieving Better Sleep
When conditions such as sleep apnea or snoring interrupt sleep, your dentist can typically be of
great help. Custom molded mouth pieces called Jaw Advancing Devices (JAD) work well to treat
both sleep apnea and are effective to stop snoring.
Lifestyle changes are sometimes needed to change poor sleeping habits. Counseling can be effective in reducing stress and supporting these changes.
Better Sleep Month is supported by the Better Sleep Council. Reference for this article can be found at (Better Sleep Month 2017).

Make the Right Glove Choice Between Latex Gloves, Nitrile Gloves or Vinyl Gloves

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Latex gloves

Latex gloves are a a popular protective choice for medical or industrial use. Latex gloves are made out of rubber, a natural product. They have a slight advantage with comfort and dexterity over nitrile gloves. For this reason the majority of surgical gloves are still made from latex. The primary reason people would choose an alternative to latex is because many people suffer from latex allergies. Additionally, while latex gloves come from natural rubber latex, they are not 100 percent pure. This is because manufacturers combine the latex concentrate with a number of compounding chemicals during the initial step of the production process. Latex gloves, like balloons are a natural, biodegradable material. You can add them to a compost pile and they will be gone by six months.

Nitrile gloves

Nitrile gloves are an ideal alternative when latex allergies are of concern. These are made from a synthetic rubber and are often referred to as “medical grade.” Nitrile gloves also offer the most puncture resistance. Since latex allergies affect many people, nitrile gloves are often preferred. Even if the glove wearer is not allergic to latex, nitrile gloves are the popular choice for medical examination gloves. Nitrile gloves do have one drawback. They are not biodegradable.

Vinyl Gloves

Vinyl gloves are made from a synthetic material composed of polyvinyl chloride and plasticizers that softens the material. These gloves are allergy free and an alternative to wearing a latex glove. Medical examination gloves are commonly made of synthetic materials such as vinyl (PVC) or nitrile.

Allergies to synthetic gloves?

Some users confuse chemical allergies with latex allergies. Both nitrile and vinyl gloves often contain components that can elicit a chemical allergy. For example, nitrile gloves, like natural latex gloves, often use carbamates or thiazoles, which can cause a skin allergy.

Powdered gloves or unpowdered?

Powder is used as a lubricant in the manufacture of medical gloves in order to facilitate donning and to avoid the gloves sticking together. Today, the most widely used dusting powders are cornstarch, and calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Cornstarch, however is the most common lubricant.

Powder free lubricated gloves?

Residual powder from gloves is often removed by chlorination. Chlorination is achieved using chlorine gas or a solution of hypochlorite and hydrochloric acid. Surface tackiness of the natural rubber latex is reduced in this process. Gloves are then easier to don because they slide over hands without sticking to the skin. Chlorination also removes residual powder and lowers latex proteins in the glove. This process is most common for latex gloves.

Polymer coating is another way to make powder free gloves easier to don. There are various types of polymers used, including silicones, acrylics, and hydrogels. These coatings are applied to the gloves’ interior while the gloves are on the former. Polymer coating is most common with nitrile gloves.

Definitions and History

Nitrile rubber: Also known as Buna-N, Perbunan, acrylonitrile butadiene rubber, and NBR. It is a synthetic rubber copolymer of acrylonitrile (ACN) and butadiene. Trade names include Nipol, Krynac and Europrene. Nitrile gloves have a longer shelf life and are more resistant to punctures and tears compared to natural latex.

When did they start using gloves in surgery?

William Stewart Halsted is widely credited as the first to develop and introduce rubber surgical gloves in the United States. In 1894 at Johns Hopkins Hospital’s he was the first surgeon in chief, only five years after the institution opened.

Choosing the Best X-ray Machine for Your Practice

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When contemplating the change to digital dental in your practice, the choices can be confusing for the dentist. Dental radiography has evolved from film and chemical developers into a highly technical process that involves various types of digital x-ray machines, as well as powerful dental software programs to assist the dentist with image acquisition and diagnostic analysis of the acquired images. When making the decision to purchase x-ray equipment, the doctor needs to research the available options thoroughly, in order to make an informed choice for the “right” machine for his or her practice.

The first question that a doctor should ask themselves is, “What is the main type of treatment that I provide my patients?” If you are a general practitioner, a standard 2D panorex will provide all of the imaging requirements needed for such treatments as caries detection, diagnosis of TMJ issues, OPG images, and images of the patients entire detention in a single x-ray. Many of the newer 2D panoramic units also offer extraoral bitewing imaging capability, which allows the dentist to obtain a bitewing image without putting a sensor or periapical film inside of the patient’s mouth.

The orthodontist requires a way to obtain the size and form of craniofacial structures in the patient. For this reason, a cephalometric extension on the imaging x-ray device is necessary to acquire images that evaluate the five components of the face, the cranium and cranial base, the skeletal maxillae, the skeletal mandible, and maxillary dentition. The cephalometric attachment offers images such as frontal AP and lateral cephs.

If the practice is concentrated in endodontic and implant treatment, then a CBCT machine is the most practical method of providing the doctor with diagnostic tools such as mandibular canal location, surgical guides, and pre-surgical treatment planning with the assistance of powerful 3D dental software applications. The patient is benefited by the reduced radiation exposure provided by these machines.

Dental Planet has been providing affordable equipment solutions to dentists for over fifteen years, and dental radiography is a major part of our portfolio. We offer x-ray machines for sale from trusted manufacturers such as Carestream Dental, Planmeca, Sirona, and Vatech America. We also offer practice management dental software for any size of practice. If you need assistance with any of your dental imaging needs, please give one of our professional sales consultants a call today!

March is National Red Cross Month

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The American Red Cross was founded in 1881 and is the premier emergency response
organization for the United States and offers worldwide humanitarian care. President Roosevelt
first declared March as National Red Cross month in 1943, and every president since has
continued the tradition. The Red Cross operates completely on donations – it has no funding by
the government.

As you reflect on the impressive list of services provided by the American Red Cross below,
please consider these ways to help.

  • Disaster Services including Medical, food, water, financial assistance and emergency accommodations.
  • Blood Services for more than 3,000 US hospitals
  • Communication Services for serving members of the military and their families during special events.
  • Health and Safety Services – Preparedness training including: CPR, Swimming, Life Guarding, HIV and blood borne pathogens among many others.
  • International Services – Helping vulnerable people worldwide experiencing, preventing or preparing for disasters or other complex humanitarian emergencies.
  • Volunteer and Youth Services – There are numerous opportunities for assisting the American Red Cross or Junior Red Cross.
  • Nursing – More than 30,000 paid and volunteer nurses serving in all capacities throughout the American Red Cross.

For more information, please visit the American Red Cross online.

Whitepaper: New EPA Standards for Dental Amalgam Waste

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have closely monitored and tested the effects of mercury and its use in the dental industry for many years. Since the early 1990s, these agencies have been researching the link between human and environmental health issues and mercury that originated in dental offices as dental amalgam [uh-mal-gum]. Dental amalgam is a dental filling material which contains a mix of 50% mercury, plus a powder containing silver, tin, copper and other metals. It has been used for over 150 years to fill cavities caused by tooth decay in hundreds of millions of patients around the world1.

Elemental mercury is the primary component of dental amalgam. Mercury is a naturally occurring metal in the environment and can exist in liquid, gas or solid form when combined with other metals. Everyone is exposed to mercury through air, drinking water, soil and food. The concern is (1) how much mercury exposure is too much before becoming mercury poisoning, and (2) are mercury levels increasing as a result of interactions with other elements in the environment?2

Mercury is released into the environment whenever a dentist removes an old amalgam filling from a cavity, or when excess amalgam is removed during the placement of a new filling. There is a concern that low levels of vapor can be inhaled and absorbed by the lungs even years after an amalgam filling is placed in a patient’s mouth, potentially causing long-term damage to the brain and kidneys. Due to the lack of scientific data surrounding this concern, little has been done over the years to limit the use and/or disposal of dental amalgam. In 2009, the FDA issued a final rule that classified dental amalgam as a Class II device accompanied by a document that designates special controls for dental amalgam. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the EPA have established mercury exposure levels aimed at protecting the most mercury-sensitive populations from the adverse effects of mercury vapor, namely pregnant women, developing fetuses and all children under 6 years old3.

On December 15, 2016, the EPA signed off on a final rule promulgating technology-based pretreatment standards under the Clean Water Act to control discharges of mercury and other metals into publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) from dental practices4. These new standards require dental practices that place or remove dental amalgam to control mercury discharges into POTWs through the use of an amalgam separator, which the EPA has identified as the best available technology to effectively capture dental amalgam before it reaches the wastewater, at an approximate average annual cost of $800 per office.

The EPA developed a regulation based on a separation and continual maintenance model that achieves a 95.0% total reduction of total mercury from amalgam process wastewater.

Compliance with the pretreatment standard for new and existing offices will be met by completing the following tasks:

  • Install and properly maintain an amalgam separator that is ISO 11143 certified to meet at least 95.0% reduction of total mercury
  • Implement the following Best Management Practices to prevent mercury discharges that may bypass the amalgam separator:
    1. Properly collect and recycle “scrap” amalgam waste including chairside traps, vacuum pump filters, spent amalgam capsules and extracted teeth containing amalgam (e.g., use a PureWay Amalgam Recycling System)
    2. Clean chairside traps using only non-bleach or non-chlorine cleaners

NOTE: The EPA Final Rule goes into effect 30 days after publication in Federal Register, which is expected to be published soon. The date for compliance will be three years from that date, likely at the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020.

All dental offices that place or remove amalgam are now required to implement an amalgam collection, separation and recycling program. However, the EPA has identified exemptions to the new standards if less than 5% of activity involves amalgam. Exempted practices include:

  • Mobile dental units
  • Dental offices where the practice “consists only” of the following specialties:
    • Oral Pathology
    • Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
    • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
    • Orthodontics
    • Periodontics
    • Prosthodontics

It is understood that a number of dental offices may already have an amalgam separator in place, whether to comply with existing state or local amalgam regulations, or because they voluntarily installed an amalgam separator. According to the new EPA ruling, dental offices with existing amalgam separators will not be penalized as long as the separator is certified to remove 95% of total mercury. The EPA will not require existing separators that still have a remaining useful life to be retrofitted with a new separator, (1) because of the additional costs incurred by dental facilities that proactively installed an amalgam separator ahead of the EPA’s proposed requirements, and (2) because of the additional solid waste that would be generated by disposing of the existing separators.

As long as offices with existing separators continue to properly operate and maintain the separator and comply with BMPs and recordkeeping requirements, these offices will be deemed in compliance with the new ruling until ten years from the effective date of the final rule.

Dental offices that place or remove amalgam fillings are required to install and properly maintain an amalgam separator. Depending on the brand, a separator can be purchased from virtually any supply vendor or purchased directly from the manufacturer. Whatever separator is purchased; it is important that the system is promptly installed in order to comply with the new regulations. Proper documentation management is an integral part of this program to ensure that (1) a certificate of recycling is kept on file, and (2) a replacement canister is purchased once the marked fill line is reached or 12 months from the date of installation, whichever occurs first.

The regulations do not specify a minimum amount of time needed before replacing a used filter/canister, but the regulations do state and mandate that the manufacturer guidelines for replacement be followed. Since each amalgam separator is required to conduct testing for the ISO certification based on a 12-month replacement maximum, most amalgam separators are required to be replaced every 12 months or once the canister is full. This not only ensures that the separator is functioning as certified, but also to prevent the separator from moving into bypass mode, which would allow the wastewater to flow unrestricted or filtered directly into the separator. The EPA recommends that an amalgam separator should be monitored monthly to ensure the canister is replaced per the manufacturer’s instructions for use, and that a backup canister is kept on site to ensure proper replacement is conducted at the appropriate time.

Most separators are compatible with both large- and small- capacity dental offices and can be used with dry vacuum or wet vacuum systems. That being said, it is best to check with the manufacturer or distributor to make sure the right amalgam separator system is purchased.

The amalgam separator is installed before the main vacuum line intersects with the plumbing in other parts of the building, and separates solids before reaching the wastewater. The typical plumbing configuration in a dental office involves a chairside trap for each chair and a central vacuum pump with a vacuum pump filter. Chairside traps and vacuum pump filters remove approximately 78% of dental amalgam particles from the waste stream4. These chairside traps cannot be cleaned or washed; they must be recycled to ensure that amalgam particles are properly managed.

Most separator designs rely on the force of the dental facility’s vacuum to draw wastewater into the separator. These separators are estimated to reduce the discharge of metals to POTWs by at least 8.8 tons per year, about half of which is comprised of mercury.

Most amalgam separators use sedimentation processes to filter solids. The high specific gravity of amalgam allows effective separation of amalgam from suspension in wastewater. The weight of amalgam is 2x – 3x that of most sediments found in dental wastewater, which allows the particles to separate and settle at the bottom of the canister. After the solids settle, the wastewater is either pumped out, decanted during servicing, or is pulled through the separator. No matter which separator is chosen, it is imperative that it meets the ISO 11143 standard which certifies proper removal of 95.0% or more of total mercury4.

The EPA guidelines recommend using the ADA’s Best Management practices for managing amalgam, which are detailed in the table below:

Table. ADA Best Management Practices for Amalgam Waste5

Do Don’t
Do use precapsulated alloys and stock a variety of capsule sizes Don’t use bulk mercury
Do recycle used disposal amalgam capsules Don’t put used disposable amalgam capsules in biohazard containers
Do Salvage, store, and recycle non-contact (scrap) amalgam Don’t put non-contact amalgam waste in biohazard containers, infection waste containers (red bags), or regular garbage
Do salvage (contact) amalgam pieces from restorations after removal and recycle their
Don’t put contact amalgam waste in biohazard containers, infectious waste containers (red bags), or regular garbage
Do use chair-side traps, vacuum pump filters, and amalgam separators to retain amalgam and recycling their contents Don’t rinse devices containing amalgam over drains or sinks
Do recycle teeth that contain amalgam restorations (Note: Ask your recycler whether or not extracted teeth with amalgam restorations require disinfection) Don’t dispose of extracted teeth that contain amalgam restorations in biohazard containers, infectious waste containers (red bags), sharps containers, or regular garbage
Do manage amalgam waste through recycling as much as possible Don’t flush amalgam waste down the drain or toilet
Do use line cleaners that minimize dissolution of amalgam Don’t use bleach or chlorine- containing cleaners to flush wastewater lines


1 “About Dental Amalgam Fillings.” About Dental Amalgam Fillings. Food and Drug Administration, 2009. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
2 “Dental Amalgam: A Health Risk?” Is Dental Amalgam Safe? Addressing the Risks of Mercury in Amalgam Fillings. Colgate, 12 May 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
3 Adjodha, Michael E. “Class II Special Controls Guidance Document: Dental Amalgam, Mercury, and Amalgam Alloy – Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff.” Class II Special Controls Guidance Document: Dental Amalgam, Mercury, and Amalgam Alloy – Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff. Food and Drug Administration, 28 July 2009. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
4 “Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Dental Category – Final Rule – Pre-publication Version, 40 CFR Parts 403 and 441 (December 15, 2016).
5 “Amalgam Separators and Waste Best Management.” Amalgam Separators and Waste Best Management. Center for Scientific Information, ADA Science Institute, 31 Oct. 2016. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.

Maintain Your Autoclave and Sterilizer Performance

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Don’t wait for your equipment to fail! Preventative Maintenance Kits combine parts to make it more convenient for you to service your equipment. One easy to use package includes all of the basic parts that should be changed on a regular basis. Replacing all parts included in our PM Kits at the same time helps to ensure the sterilizer continues to perform at its optimal level, and also prevents you from potentially costly service calls.

Our kits include a Checklist for completing basic Preventative Maintenance on the sterilizer, including the proper installation of each part. PM Kits provide you with savings over purchasing each of the parts individually.


TIP: Don’t simply put in a new Door Gasket when you can replace the other critical PM parts as well.

Click the part # below for more information on PM kits available.

Autoclave / Sterilizer PM Kits
AMSCO EAGLE Part # Tuttnauer Part #
Eagle 10 & 10 Plus
Midmark (Apollo/Matrix/Ritter) Part # 1730 EK/MK/MKV
2340 M (S/N 8805 and below)
2340 E/M (S/N 8806 and above)
OL-4000, OL-7
2340 EA & EZ9
OL-10, OL-6000
2340 EK/MK
2540 E/M
2540 EA/EKA/EHS, EZ10 & EZ10k
7, M7
2540 EK/MK
M9, M9D
3870 E/M
M11, M11D
3870 EA/EHS
OL-100, OL-101
Air Techniques Part #
AirStar 1, 10
Airstar 5, 50
OL-2000, OL-2001, OL-3
AirStar 7, 70
M9, M9D (Metal Flap)
AirStar 2-1, 2-2, 3, 21, 30
M9, M9D
Tech West Part #
7, M7
ACL6T2 (2005 and Earlier), ACL6T2ND (2005 and Earlier)
ACL4D2 (2005 and Earlier), ACL4D2ND (2005 and Earlier)
P21, P22, P32
ACO6T2 (2005 and Earlier), ACO6T2ND (2005 and Earlier)
ACL2S2 (2005 and Earlier), ACL2S2ND (2005 and Earlier) CMK188
CL21, CL22
ACO2S1 (2006 and Later), ACO2S1ND (2006 and Later), ACO2S2 (2006 and Later), ACO2S2ND (2006 and Later)
ACO6T2 (2006 and Later), ACO6T2ND (2006 and Later)
ALCSL11, ALCSL12, ALCSL21, ALCSL22, AMD-100, AMD-101
ACO4D2 (2006 and Later), ACO4D2ND (2006 and Later)
ALCTL31, 31D, 32, 32D, 41, 41D, 42, 42D, CL32
ACO4D2 (2006 and Later), ACO4D2ND (2006 and Later)
ACO4D2 (2005 and Earlier), ACO4D2ND (2005 and Earlier), ACO4S2 (2005 and Earlier), ACO4S2ND (2005 and Earlier)
ACO2S1 (2005 and Earlier), ACO2S1ND (2005 and Earlier), ACO2S2 (2005 and Earlier), ACO2S2ND (2005 and Earlier)
ACL2S1 (2006 and Later), ACL2S2 (2006 and Later)
AMD-2, AMD-2-115
ACL6T2 (2006 and Later)
ACL4D2 (2006 and Later)
Pelton & Crane Part # DentalEZ/CustomAir/RamVac Part #
Delta 10″ (AF), Delta Q10, Delta XL10
CA-812, CA-822, CA-912, CA-922
Delta 8″ (AE), Delta Q8, Delta XL8
CA-813-D, CA-823-D (Serial #440537 and Below)
CA-713, CA-723
Validator 8
CA-829-D (Serial #631602 and Below), CA-829-D (Serial #631602 and Below), CA-929-D (Serial #631602 and Below), CA-929-D (Serial #631602 and Below)
Validator 10
CA-825, CA-825-D, CA-825-Q, CA-925, CA-925-D (Serial #631602 and Below)
Validator Plus 8
CA-8212-T (Serial #631602 and Below), CA-8212-T (Serial #631602 and Below)
Validator Plus 10
CA-8212-T (Serial #631603 and Above), CA-8212-T (Serial #631603 and Above)
SciCan Part # 1013D, 1022, 1023D, 1025D, 1027D, 1029T
Statim 2000
CA-813, CA-813-D, CA-823, CA-823-D, CA-913, CA-923 (All Serial #s 440538 Thru 631602)
Statim 5000
CA-827-D, CA-927-D (All Serial #631602 and Below)
Jun-Air Part # CA-813, CA-813-D, CA-823, CA-823-D, CA-913, CA-923 (All Serial #631603 and Above)
CA-827-D (Serial #631603 and Above), CA-927-D (Serial #631603 and Above)
CA-829-D, CA-929-D (Serial #631603 and Above)
CA-825, CA-825-D, CA-825-Q, CA-925, CA-925-D (All Serial

CA-711, CA-711, CA-721, CA-721

This post was originally published July 18, 2012.