Government of Nova Scotia Government of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada


Pollution Prevention

Dental Facilities

Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) and the Nova Scotia Dental Association (NSDA) have a long standing agreement to promote environmental stewardship to dental practices in Nova Scotia. NSE recognized that the NSDA is a leading proponent of preventative healthcare and it would be a natural evolution to extend this philosophy to environmental protection by preventing waste and reducing the consumption of resources in dental practices.

The cooperation between NSDA and NSE has resulted in the following accomplishments:

  • The development of the Best Management Practices for Hazardous Dental Disposal
  • Nova Scotia dental facilities recover mercury amalgam from their waste water according to a survey conducted in 2010. This prevents mercury from entering our environment. Mercury compounds are considered to be neurological toxicants that can harm organisms living in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

Results of survey

  • A survey of 23 dentists with practices in Nova Scotia shows improvements in the handling of mercury-containing amalgam waste. All of the dental practices who participated have equipment (separators and chair-side traps) that captures the mercury amalgam from wastewater produced by their operation. And most of the participating dental facilities were correctly disposing of recovered mercury waste, unused mercury amalgam, and extracted amalgam fillings.
  • Although limited in scope, this survey indicates that dental facilities in Nova Scotia are generally trying to manage the hazardous materials used in their practices in an environmentally responsible manner.