Optimizing Dental Waste Practices: A Comprehensive Review of Waste Management in Hospital and Private Dental Practice across Pakistan

  • Noor ul Huda Rashid Latif Medical and Dental College, Lahore
  • Hina Nasim School of Dentistry, SZABMU, Islamabad
  • Haseeb Ahmad University of Education, Multan
  • Hazik Shahzad Rashid Latif Medical and Dental College, Lahore
  • Anosha Mujtaba School of Dentistry, SZABMU, Islamabad
  • Sayyeda Maria Aftab Bahria University of Medical & Health Sciences, Karachi
Keywords: Awareness, dental waste, mercury waste management,


Objective: To analyze and document the management of biomedical waste, assessing potential health and environmental risks, over a period of six months throughout the dental hospitals of Pakistan.

Materials and methods: In this cross-sectional questionnaire-based study, the questionnaire was distributed to final-year students, house officers, postgraduate trainees, practicing dentists, and dental assistants in both private and public healthcare settings across Pakistan through electronic media. A convenient sampling technique was used, and the study was completed in six months, from April to September 2023, with a sample size of 356, actively practicing dental professionals, students, trainees, and dental assistants with a minimum of 6 months of experience included in this study. Non-practicing dentists and assistants within the last 6 months were excluded from the study. The study assessed criteria and dental practitioners' knowledge regarding waste disposal in dental setups and hospitals.

Result: In biomedical waste disposal practices across hospitals and clinics, incorrect methods were observed in amalgam disposal (77.2% vs. 75.8%), fixer disposal (92.2% vs. 87.1%), bloody gauze disposal (52.1% vs. 68.5%), tooth disposal (73.2% vs. 60.4%), sharps disposal (75.1% vs. 29.4%), and solid waste disposal (24.8% vs. 24.4%) in hospitals and clinics, respectively. Proper methods, such as separators, silver recovery, yellow bags, and incineration, were variably used/adopted.

Conclusion: According to the current study, most private dental facilities and hospitals are unaware of the various types of biomedical waste and do not use proper disposal methods. There is an immediate need for practitioners to receive ongoing dental education on waste management in dental care.

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