Dentists for cleaner water was an initiative set up between 2008 and 2011 by the Australian Dental Association Victoria Branch and the Victorian Water Industry and Environmental Protection Authority in Victoria to promote the installation and use of dental amalgam separators in private dental practices to filter waste amalgam before it enters the sewage system. Mercury, which is a component of amalgam fillings, can be released to the environment when amalgam is removed from patients and can be either rinsed into sewage systems or disposed of in landfill.
Smile Hawthorn was established in 2014. Although the Dentists for Cleaner Water initiative was not operational anymore, the practice voluntarily opted to install an Amalgam Separator in the clinic at the time it was set up, that reduces up to 95% of waste amalgam from entering the sewage system.
More recently, the Minimata Convention on Mercury and Dental Amalgam called for a phase down on the use of amalgam through various measures.
At Smile Hawthorn, we adhere to these measures by:
- Promoting good health, dental and physical, to prevent tooth decay
- We do not use dental amalgam as a filling material and opt to offer our patients cost and clinically effective mercury-free alternatives such as composite and ceramic.
- Promoting the use of best environmental practices to reduce releases of mercury to water and land by installing traps and separators to collect the amalgam before it enters the sewage system thus reducing the amount of mercury entering the environment.
- Recycling collected amalgam through appropriate channels.
This way, we can reduce our impact on the environment so it can be enjoyed by generations to come.