Naval Medical Research Unit San Antonio San Antonio United States
Results showed the average service-life of the DD2011P to be 67- 38 work days. DD2011P separators performed above the 95 retention efficiency specified in the ISO standard, even after pulled from service due to pressure drop. Effluent concentrations of mercury, silver, and copper correlated loosely with the number of amalgam capsules used in the preceding two-week period, and overall, filter efficiency increased with use. We conclude that the DD2011P amalgam separator meets the EPA dental wastewater effluent guideline and performs adequately in a military dental clinical setting. Our clinical evaluation of the DD2011P showed variability in service life due to a variety of clinical factors beyond the amount of amalgam used in practice, however, the average clinical service life was shown to be roughly 3 months. We further determined that there is substantial room for improvement in unit design and size, to produce the best available technology at the least costburden to the dentist to maintain compliance with federal and local dental wastewater guidelines. Additionally, the steady increase of pressure drop which preceded separator failure is potentially useful toward developing an advance warning system to alert dental staff to declining separator performance and the need to replace the unit.