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Table of Contents
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 62-64

Biomedical waste segregation in orthodontics after COVID

Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Santosh Dental College and Hospital, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Submission12-Mar-2022
Date of Decision20-Apr-2022
Date of Acceptance25-Apr-2022
Date of Web Publication21-Jul-2022

Correspondence Address:
Shivangi Shukla
Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Santosh Dental College and Hospital, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sujhs.sujhs_4_22

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In the majority of health-care organizations including the field of dentistry, biomedical waste (BMW) is becoming a severe concern. All health-care employees must be informed of how to properly dispose of health-care waste and how to handle, segregate, and transport BMW. Proper segregation of BMW is highly essential during these current pandemic times. There is a rapid increase in the spread of infectious diseases, especially in the field of dentistry. COVID currently has a higher spread and affectivity ratio than any other disease since 2019, along with other diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. Without proper disposal of medical waste, there can be no assurance that these diseases will not spread. Hence, there is a need for a safety protocol, which is applied and implemented worldwide and their disposal in a specific guided manner. This article is intended to provide deep insight and to simplify how to categorize and dispose orthodontic BMW.

Keywords: Biomedical waste segregation, dental clinic, disposal, nonbiomedical waste segregation, orthodontics

How to cite this article:
Shukla S, Chugh T, Ahluwalia R. Biomedical waste segregation in orthodontics after COVID. Santosh Univ J Health Sci 2022;8:62-4

How to cite this URL:
Shukla S, Chugh T, Ahluwalia R. Biomedical waste segregation in orthodontics after COVID. Santosh Univ J Health Sci [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Aug 11];8:62-4. Available from: http://www.sujhs.org/text.asp?2022/8/1/62/351572

  Introduction Top

Dental care is essential for a person's general health. Whenever a dental procedure is conducted, biomedical waste (BMW) is unavoidable.[1] Proper management of BMW produced in orthodontic practice is an important component of environmental health protection. Wise handling and disposing of BMW is very critical. Improper handling of BMW may lead to tremendous health hazards. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the massive generation of BMW. In addition, majority of dentists work in a private clinical setup, which generally lies in a closed space. Hence, there is a need for firsthand updates on disposal of material used during orthodontic treatment in a proper manner with proper sanitization at each and every step.

This article summarizes the segregation protocol of BMW generated during orthodontic treatment.

  Segregation Protocol for Orthodontists Top

Waste segregation is one of the most essential steps required for achieving the unified goal of complete sanitization. It allows us to differentiate between the various materials used during the treatment and to dispose them accordingly. Orthodontic waste is primarily comprised of sharp objects such as wires and brackets. It is important to carefully dispose of ligature wires and other sharp objects as they can puncture plastics easily. This waste, if infected, can puncture any live tissue very easily and could be responsible for spread of infections. Hence, it becomes important for an orthodontist to be well aware of the guidelines for proper disposal of orthodontic waste. In case the orthodontist is a consultant, it is the orthodontist's responsibility to advise the dentist on correct segregation and disposal of the orthodontic waste.[2]

[Figure 1] summarizes how orthodontic BMW needs to be segregated in different colored bins.
Figure 1: Segregation of biomedical waste in orthodontics

Click here to view

Most of the orthodontic patients are adolescents and teenagers in the age bracket of 7–19 years. Improper care can increase the chances of spread of specific age-related diseases such as chickenpox and mumps, which may further lead to cross-infection.

One of the major concerns for fellow orthodontists is recent increase in usage of aligner therapy as an orthodontic treatment modality has led to increase in plastic infectious waste especially in COVID pandemic. Aligners are a medical-grade plastic waste. Hence, proper disposal of aligners is imperative. Hence, standard protocol for the same must also be set. In any clinical setup, not only orthodontic but also other wastes are also produced, and one needs to be aware of non-BMW disposal as well

[Figure 2] summarizes how non-BMW needs to be segregated in different colored bins.
Figure 2: Segregation of nonbiomedical waste in orthodontics

Click here to view

  Advantages of Biomedical Waste Segregation Top

  • It contributes significantly to global sanitation, community health, resource preservation, and ecosystem sustainability
  • Medical waste recycling reduces the amount of garbage which must be disposed of in landfills
  • Accurate waste management reduces the occurrence of infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, sepsis, and other disorders spread by infected medical equipment.[3]

  Conclusion Top

BMW segregation is mandatory by law and has to be followed by every health-care professional. An orthodontist is accountable for any mishap that occurs in their workplace and hence should keep themselves updated about the routine updates or any changes in the BMW protocol available on the official website of the government regulatory bodies. Clinical practitioners should also attend BMW orientation programs to have more detailed idea about the process and further enhance their knowledge of the same.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Subramanian A, Thayalan D, Edwards A, Almalki A, Venugopal A. Biomedical waste management in dental practice and its significant environmental impact: A perspective. Environ Technol Innov 2021;24:101807.  Back to cited text no. 1
Saini N, Ahluwalia R, Sharma K, Garg H, Ankit. How to dispose biomedical waste in orthodontic practice: A review. J Contemp Orthod 2020;4:34-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
Biomedical Waste Management and Its Importance | AIHMS Blog. AIHMS Blog | Explore Public Health; 2022. Available from: https://aihms.in/blog/biomedical-waste-management-and-its-importance/. [Last accessed on 2022 Feb 19].  Back to cited text no. 3


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


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