There are only months to go before the EPA requirement for an amalgam separator goes into effect July of 2020. There are certainly offices still looking for a solution to meet compliance. One interesting solution the Dental Advisor team came across at the Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting was the Capt-all amalgam separator (DOVE dental products). You attach it to your high-volume hose instead of the normal HVE suction tip. The tip and built in amalgam separator are single-use. A recycle box is provided by the company that you discard the used tips into. When the container is full it is sent for recycling. Your office is then provided all the necessary paperwork to show compliance to the EPA 441.30(a)(2) requirements.
Potential Advantages to Your Practice:
– No expensive upfront equipment and installation costs for an amalgam separator
– Use only when removing amalgam
– No need to upgrade, repair or replace old equipment in the future
Considerations from our Initial Insights Team:
– While relatively lightweight, they noted it is heavier than a standard HVE tip and is larger in diameter. Could the larger diameter be more ergonomic? That raises the question of what dental assistant evaluators will think of it.
– When you know that you will be removing amalgam, there should be little difference in set up time between which tip you place on the treatment tray. If you find during treatment that you will be taking out amalgam that you did not plan on, they wondered how much time will be spent stopping, unwrapping and swapping out tips?
– The final and probably most important question the Initial Insights team wondered is cost. Would it be cost-effective in their practices?
The Initial Insights team felt that the Capt-all tip may be a clever solution to a pending problem. It would certainly be interesting to see how it works in practice and how it costs out in a variety of practices like those of our evaluators. Seeing usage rates from pedodontists (low amalgam removal) to a practice with more senior patients and all options in between.