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What Is Amalgam?

Laws require dentists to follow ODA Best Management Practices and install amalgam separator.
Senate Bill 704 took effect Jan. 1, 2008, and subsequently was revised in 2009 (HB 3611), requiring Oregon dentists who place or remove mercury-containing materials from the oral cavity to install a separator. (i.e. amalgam restorations placed or removed, and extracted teeth with amalgam where the tooth is cut through amalgam.) The law also requires all Oregon dentists to be in compliance with ODA’s Best Management Practices (BMPs).

How does this requirement affect you?

  • If your practice doesn’t place or remove dental amalgam or other dental materials containing mercury, you most likely will not have to install an amalgam separator.  One exception may be if during tooth extraction a dentist cuts through amalgam.  You still need to install a separator. 
  • Jan. 1, 2010 is the date when all dental offices were required to install amalgam separators in their offices.  
  • If you are building a new office or operatory, amalgam separators are required in all new dental office construction after Jan. 1, 2008.
  • All Oregon dentists must comply with the ODA's BMP's (Best Management Practices for Dental Waste). Check out the Dental Waste Recycling Information below.

If dental offices or waste water districts have questions regarding Senate Bill 704/ House Bill 3611 or the ODA BMP program certification, contact ​Lori Lambright, ODA Compliance Coordinator 503.218.2010,