We rarely think about water here in the US where we just turn a tap to be delivered a stream of pure, clean water. We run water all day long – washing dishes, getting a cool glass to drink, letting our kids play in the tub, on the potscrubber cycle of the dishwasher, even when we brush our teeth. It seems that, if the earth is made up of mostly water letting it run shouldn’t be considered “a waste.”
The truth is, fresh water is a commodity. More than 97% of the earth’s water is salt water. How much fresh water does that leave? Not much. But there is more. Of that 2.5% of fresh water, 68.7% is frozen – and not as bags of ice at the handy mart. That doesn’t leave very much water for people on the planet to use and drink, does it? Worse yet, in the last century, global demand for water has increased six fold.
Water is also becoming increasingly polluted. Just take a look at America’s great rivers – about 40% of of them are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or for aquatic life to survive in.
Here at All About Smiles, we are doing a number of things to protect water and reduce the amount of water we use. Of course, we encourage our patients, young and old, to turn off the water while they brush.
Another, and to us, a very important way we protect both Delaware’s and the earth’s water – and our community’s health – is by using an amalgam separator every time we remove, or work on, a mercury-amalgam filling.
As the demand for water increases, it becomes more important than ever to make sure the water we use is properly treated and cleaned before it is disposed of. Proper cleaning of water ensures that we may use water again and again. But some things just shouldn’t go in the water in the first place – including the harmful, toxic mercury contained in amalgam fillings. Patients come to us from all over the country to have their metal fillings removed and replaced with more holistic tooth-colored fillings.
During the removal procedure, bits of the metal filling are washed into our water system. Without an amalgam separator, those bits of filling would enter the public wastewater system. That’s important because one large amalgam filling contains as much mercury as in those old-fashioned thermometers we used as children. That’s enough mercury to contaminate a 10-square-mile lake and cause restricted fishing. Six years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized that dental offices are the largest source of mercury discharged to publicly-owned treatment works. All About Smiles refuses to be part of that problem! Amalgam separators may be expensive, but when it comes to keeping both the planet and our patients healthy, we never let cost stand in our way.
Attached directly to the vacuum system, our amalgam separator is extremely effective – certified to remove 99% of amalgam – at keeping amalgam, or silver fillings containing mercury, from entering our wastewater supply and sewer system.
It’s just another way All About Smiles invests in our patients – and in the planet!
It all adds up to better health, smile, body, and spirit!