Waste Compliance Made Easy

Keeping Up with Waste Compliance

It’s as easy as 1-2-3…

Keeping up with waste compliance can be confusing and expensive. With dental offices subject to numerous regulations at the federal, state, and local level, knowing which compliance protocols are applicable to your practice isn’t easy. Not to mention, waste is a broad category comprised of a variety of issues that lack actionable solutions. Thankfully, compliance is easier to achieve than it seems. Here’s a breakdown of key waste compliance issues in terms of their (a) problems, (b) regulations, and (c) solutions:

1. Bio-Hazard and Sharps Waste

THE PROBLEM: Many dental practices opt for a waste disposal pickup service that is unknowledgeable of dental regulations. As a result, dentists may be locked into confusing contracts without a point of contact that understands their compliance needs–leaving dental professionals responsible for understanding their requirements or risk non-compliance.

THE REGULATIONS: Specifics concerning bio-hazard and sharps regulations vary by state, with each state requiring one of these disposal practices:

  • Both sharps and soft waste are to be disposed of after a designated time limit
  • Both sharps and soft waste are to be disposed of once the container is full
  • Only sharps are to be disposed of once the container is full and soft waste is to be disposed of after designated time limit

THE SOLUTION: Mail-back systems are a convenient and cost-effective alternative to pickup services. Ranging from 1-quart to 30-gallon containers, these mail-back systems eliminate the use of costly pickup services and include a prepaid return shipping box that allows for complete tracking and documentation. When ready, simply place your container in the prepaid return box and leave it to be picked up along with the rest of your packages.

2. Mercury Waste

THE PROBLEM: Much of the mercury that enters our wastewaters originates from dental amalgam. Tiny particles of amalgam can bypass chairside traps every time an amalgam filling is placed or removed. After water treatment, mercury is distributed back in the form of precipitation and consumed by fish, making its way into our food chain.

THE REGULATIONS: At least 12 states and numerous localities have mandatory mercury pretreatment programs in place. At the federal level, the EPA recently announced that it would be formulating a nationwide rule regulating disposal methods for dental amalgam. This rule is expected to be finalized in the near future.

THE SOLUTION: It is possible to eliminate mercury pollution by installing an amalgam separator. Installation is extremely simple and allows dentists to eliminate 99% of their mercury waste, and maintenance usually involves replacing the canister once it’s full, generally every 6-12 months.

3. X-Ray Waste

THE PROBLEM: Dental offices generate many different forms of waste as a result of traditional x-ray processing that can have a serious impact on wastewaters and soil.

THE REGULATIONS: The disposal of used fixer is strictly regulated nationwide due to its high toxicity level. However, many regulations can vary significantly by location. To determine your waste disposal requirements, contact your local OSHA office, wastewater treatment agency, or state dental association.

THE SOLUTION: X-ray waste can be prevented from entering the environment by implementing an x-ray waste collection and recycling program. This includes capturing lead waste in an approved UN/DOT storage container, filtering used fixer via a photo chemical filter to remove silver content, and recycling x-ray film. The optimal solution is to shift to a digital x-ray system.


Achieve complete waste compliance with PureLife Waste Solutions! Save up to 50% on your waste compliance products and services– no contracts required! Call 877-777-3303 ext 4 to talk to a Waste Management Specialist and request a FREE no-obligation quote.


Tips for Chairside Whitening

More Than Cleaning

Incorporate elective services into routine visits

Standardizing and organizing examination protocols creates a framework for recare and restorative visits. Here is an “old school” way to integrate whitening acceptance into your daily routine. The two key pieces of equipment for this tip are: a hand mirror and a shade guide.

Shade GuideOne way to increase whitening business is for assistants and hygienists to make a habit of doing a “color analysis” for each patient. With the patient looking into a mirror, simply say to them, “We know that teeth can change color over time. What I’d like to do now is to determine the current color of your teeth. I’ll need your help with this part.” This immediately gets the patient involved in their care and gives you an opportunity to talk whitening options.

Each operatory (hygiene too) should be equipped with shade guides. Set it up from lightest to darkest; make sure the shade guide also includes newer ‘bleaching’ colors. Hold the shade guide so that your patient can see the colors.

Next, have the patient guide the selection of the shade–this gives them an idea of what their teeth could look like. If your patient has an interest in whitening, he/she will normally take up the issue with you and you will have permission to ask other questions. These might include: “Other than the color shifts, is there anything else that you notice about your smile?”

Thanks to mainstream media, talk shows and magazines, patients are more knowledgeable about tooth discoloration, malodor and the importance of a healthy mouth to overall health. Incorporating something as basic as a shade guide review (at least yearly) is a powerful way to make regular inquiries into all of your aesthetic services.

Tips and Pointers in Selecting Shades

  • For most accurate results, the colors in the room should be neutral as well as the patient’s clothes. Drape the patient with a neutral gray bib or towel when taking a shade. It neutralizes the eyes’ color perception.
  • Female patients: If applicable, remove lipstick.
  • Make sure teeth are not dehydrated.
  • The mouth of the patient should be at eye level.
  • Determine the amber or gray color type of the patient.
  • Determine the base shade of the patient and remove matching shade group (Chromascope).
  • Determine the shade intensity within the shade group.
  • Compare the selected shade once again with the natural tooth.
  • Color Map: Note range of shade, striations, and color banding or mottling. Close examination will reveal a blending of various colors.
  • Collaborative Whitening: All team members can perform color assessments.

In sum, incorporating simple, “old school” basics into your protocols will help your patients understand the full menu of services offered by your practice and can help drive elective procedures such as whitening

Avoid Occupational Hazards

Dentistry: It’s Risky Business

Reduce the risk of occupational hazards by avoiding chemical culprits

In addition to infectious diseases and muscle injuries, dental professionals encounter a number of workplace hazards. Dental staff are exposed to toxic chemicals throughout the day, including those found in products used to clean and disinfect instruments and surfaces. Long-term exposure can increase the risk for developing life-threatening diseases and allergies, which is why it’s important to take the necessary precautions when working with these chemical hazards:


USES/MATERIALS: Glutaraldehyde is widely used as a cold sterilant to disinfect and clean heat-sensitive equipment. It is found in desensitizers, high-level disinfectants and sterilants.

RISKS: Glutaraldehyde is toxic and a strong irritant. Exposure to glutaraldehyde causes severe eye, nose, and throat irritation, as well as headaches and drowsiness. It is the main source of occupational asthma among healthcare providers.

ALTERNATIVES: Glutaraldehyde-free desensitizers and high-level disinfectant solutions are available. Teethmate Desensitizer from Kuraray delivers sensitivity relief by creating hydroxyapatite to seal dentinal tubules and cracks in enamel. Sporox II from Sultan is a powerful hydrogen peroxide-based sterilant and high-level disinfectant for heat-sensitive instruments. Cidex OPA from Johnson & Johnson and Rapicide OPA/28 HLD from Crosstex are high-level disinfectants with rapid high-level disinfection times – nearly nine times faster than glutaraldehyde-based solutions.


USES/MATERIALS: Phenols are used as a disinfectant and antiseptic and can be found in some infection control products, including surface disinfectants.

RISKS: The Environmental Protection Agency lists disinfectants that contain phenols as “corrosive and toxic.” Exposure to phenols causes irritation of the skin, eyes and mucous membranes.

ALTERNATIVES: PureLife does not carry any products that contain phenol. Alternatives include BioSURF Surface Disinfectant from Micrylium, which kills TB in 50 seconds and does not contain any harmful phenols or aldehydes, and CaviCide1 from Kerr TotalCare, which has a 1-minute TB kill time and is fragrance-free, bleach-free and phenol-free.


USES/MATERIALS: Triclosan is an antibacterial agent found in many hygiene products, including toothpastes, hand soaps, hand sanitizers and lotions.

RISKS: Studies have suggested that triclosan may disrupt hormones that play an important role in reproduction and development, while other research indicates that triclosan may contribute to the development of drug-resistant bacteria. The FDA is currently evaluating its safety, but has found no evidence to support triclosan as being more effective than plain soap and water in preventing the spread of diseases. Minnesota has already passed a bill that will ban the use of triclosan in most retail hygiene products beginning in 2017.

ALTERNATIVES: Toothpastes that contain stannous fluoride, including all Crest toothpastes, are effective alternatives to triclosan. Purell® Green Certified Instant Hand Sanitizer from GOJO USA and Gibraltar Barrier Cream from Micrylium are triclosan-free hand care products that also contain moisturizers to condition skin.


USES/MATERIALS: Latex is most commonly found in gloves. Other dental materials that contain latex include latex dams, gutta-percha, mixing bowls, orthodontic elastics, some suction tips, bite blocks and amalgam carriers.

RISKS: Healthcare workers exposed to latex gloves and other latex-containing medical devices are at risk of developing latex allergy. Adverse reactions can be classified as true latex allergy (Type I hypersensitivity) or allergic contact dermatitis (Type IV hypersensitivity). True latex allergy is a reaction to the latex proteins. These proteins can infiltrate the body through skin and mucosa. Reactions can range from erythema and hives to anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition. Conversely, allergic contact dermatitis is a reaction to the chemical additives used in the manufacture of latex gloves. Symptoms take several hours to develop, and include swelling, redness, itching, and blistering/cracking of the skin.

ALTERNATIVES: Staff with true latex allergy require the use of non-latex gloves, such as nitrile, neoprene or vinyl. Staff with allergic contact dermatitis require the use of vinyl gloves, as nitrile and neoprene gloves contain the same chemical additives found in latex gloves.


The Downfall of Reusing Disposables

The Downfall of Reusing Disposables

If one line of defense tumbles, the rest will likely follow

In recent years, disposable products have become the gold standard of infection control protocol. These single-use items are intended to be used on one patient and discarded. They should not be sterilized in an autoclave due to the heat-intolerance of their materials. Compared to reusable (or multi-use) products, disposable products reduce the probability of patient-to-patient cross-contamination and potential cross-infection.

In the not-so-distant past, “reusable” was more common than “disposable.” You may even remember when procedural items, such as saliva ejectors and prophy cups, were cleaned and sterilized to be reused on another patient. Since then, the FDA has repeatedly stated that it is unaware of any data that would establish safe and effective cleaning/sterilization conditions necessary for reuse of any disposable device (OSAP, 2012). Similarly, the CDC advises using single-use devices on one patient only and disposing of them appropriately. However, it is still generally accepted by dental professionals that many single-use products are safe to reuse if sterilized, such as…


Whether burs are single-use or multi-use remains a contested issue. Cleaning can be difficult due to burs’ intricate physical construction, and repeated processing cycles can deteriorate the cutting surfaces enough to potentially break during patient treatment. These factors, coupled with the knowledge that burs exhibit signs of wear during normal use, might make it practical to consider them single-use. A fair amount of resources are spent scrubbing burs and diamonds prior to sterilization, which equates to longer intervals between patients. From an infection control viewpoint, treating burs as single-use eliminates the risk of patient–to-patient cross–infection.


Plastic mouth mirrors are great alternatives to traditional mouth mirrors in that they significantly reduce cross-contamination. However, they are not meant to be reused and their plastic materials are not suitable for the autoclave. Because mouth mirrors are inserted directly into the patient’s mouth, improper sterilization practices can greatly increase the risk of patient-to-patient cross-infection.


Unlike most disposable items, which are single-use in the sense that they may only be used on one patient, face masks are only as effective as their designated time limit. The length of time that a mask protects against infection and cross-contamination depends on its ASTM level (according to FDA guidelines):

ASTM Level 1: 15-20 minutes

ASTM Level 2: 30-40 minutes

ASTM Level 3: 60+ minutes

Why the wide discrepancy between what is regulated and what occurs in the practice? For one, complying with every OSHA regulation and CDC guideline is easier said than done. And, because devices that were considered reusable twenty years ago are now deemed one-time use, adapting to new practices is slow to change. Plus, the misconception that disposables cost more could explain the discrepancy. On average, a dentist spends $20 in disposables to set up an operatory, which fluctuates depending on the number of patients seen per day.

However, the monetary savings gained by reusing disposables are minor when compared to the huge costs of an infection control breach. Although reuse of common disposable items may seem harmless, little things can accrue to a big problem. When it comes to infection control, loosening the slack in one area lessens the overlap and effectiveness of your total chain of infection control. Think of it as a line of dominos — once the first one falls, the rest fall along with it.

At PureLife, you don’t have to risk sacrificing your line of infection control defenses to achieve a happy bottom line. We offer a wide variety of top-quality, cost-competitive disposable items for any procedure. Call us at 877-777-3303 or visit PureLifeDental.com for our complete list of disposables.

A Guide to Latex Glove Allergies

The Root Cause

The dental professional’s guide to latex glove allergies

Natural rubber latex is a material found in many dental supplies—mainly exam gloves. In the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the number of healthcare professionals reporting allergic reactions to latex.  Since frequent exposure to latex products can lead to increased sensitivity, healthcare professionals are at a higher risk of developing an allergy to latex proteins.


Generally, people attribute any latex glove-related reaction as an “allergy,” but there are actually two types of latex reactions: Allergic contact dermatitis (Type IV hypersensitivity) and true latex allergy (Type I hypersensitivity).

TYPE IV HYPERSENSITIVITY: Allergic contact dermatitis is a reaction to the chemical additives used in the manufacture of latex gloves (OSAP, 2013). Symptoms take several hours to develop, and include swelling, redness, itching, and blistering/cracking of the skin. Patients and staff with allergic contact dermatitis require the use of vinyl gloves, as nitrile and neoprene gloves contain the same chemical additives found in natural rubber latex.

TYPE I HYPERSENSITIVITY: Conversely, true latex allergy is a reaction to the latex proteins. These proteins can infiltrate the body through skin and mucosa.  If latex lightly powdered gloves are used, aerosolized latex proteins can also enter the respiratory system during gloving and ungloving (OSAP, 2013). Reactions can range from erythema and hives to the most severe reactions characterized by anaphylaxis. Patients and staff with true latex allergy require the use of non-latex gloves, such as nitrile, neoprene or vinyl.


Apart from dental healthcare workers, those “at risk” for allergic reactions are patients with asthma, a history of hay fever, or allergies to trees, grasses, animals, dust, molds and certain medications.  Dentists can use this checklist to provide a latex-safe facility for patients and staff with possible or documented latex allergy:

  • Screen all patients for latex allergy (e.g., obtain their health history)
  • Be aware of some common predisposing conditions (e.g., spina bifida, urogenital anomalies, or allergies to avocados, kiwis, nuts, or bananas).
  • Be familiar with the different types of hypersensitivity and the risks that these pose for patients and staff.
  • Consider sources of latex other than gloves, including prophy cups, rubber dams, and orthodontic elastics.
  • Provide an alternative treatment area free of materials containing latex.
  • Remove all latex-containing products from the patient’s vicinity and adequately cover/isolate any latex-containing devices that cannot be removed from the treatment area.
  • Give patients with latex allergy the first appointments of the day to minimize inadvertent exposure to airborne latex particles.
  • Frequently clean all working areas contaminated with latex powder/dust.
  • Frequently change ventilation filters and vacuum bags used in latex-contaminated areas.
  • Have latex-free kits (e.g., dental treatment and emergency kits) available at all times.
  • Be aware that allergic reactions can be provoked from indirect contact as well as direct. Hand hygiene is essential!
  • Communicate latex allergy procedures (e.g., verbal instructions, written protocols, posted signs) to other personnel to prevent them from bringing latex-containing materials into the treatment area.
  • If latex-related complications occur during or after the procedure, manage the reaction and seek emergency assistance as indicated.

“Off-Label” Benefits of Varnish

Beyond the Label

The “off-label” benefits of using fluoride varnish for caries prevention

Dentists and hygienists have been applying high-concentration fluoride compounds directly to patients’ teeth for over 50 years. Interestingly, there has been an uptick in the number of fluoride varnishes being introduced in the last several years. According to the FDA, varnish is indicated for use as a desensitizer and cavity liner, but many are recognizing its “off-label” use as a topical fluoride treatment. With all the fluoride products and delivery systems on the market, does fluoride varnish measure up?


The most widely used fluoride application in dental practices is 1.23% acidulated phosphate fluoride (APF) gel (Sheehan 2001). In 1993, 1.23% APF foam hit the market. It is claimed to deliver the same protection as APF gel with 75 percent less fluoride, which lessens the risk of a toxic amount being accidentally swallowed. However, some research has shown that both foam and gel deliver the same amount of fluoride.


shutterstock_71177302First introduced in the 1960s under the trade name Duraphat, sodium fluoride varnish is relatively inexpensive, easily applied to exposed root surfaces, and prolongs contact time between fluoride and enamel, thereby achieving deeper fluoride uptake (Sheehan 2001). The benefits of fluoride varnishes also include long-term fluoride release and a higher delivery of fluoride into cementum. Varnish has been used as an effective anticaries agent in Europe and Canada for over three decades (Sheehan 2001). It has not yet been approved for use in this capacity in the United States; rather, it has been cleared by the FDA for use as a desensitizing agent and cavity liner. Caries prevention is regarded as a drug claim, and companies would be required to submit appropriate clinical trial evidence for review before this product could be marketed as an anticaries agent.

That being said, fluoride varnish is still an effective caries prevention solution. According to CDC Recommendations, a prescribing practitioner can use fluoride varnish for caries prevention as an “off-label” use. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry emphasized in a 1996 recommendation, “Unapproved does not imply an illegal use. The word unapproved is used merely to indicate lack of approval, not to imply disapproval or contraindication based on positive evidence of a lack of safety or efficacy.”

“Although varnishes are not FDA-approved as a topical fluoride treatment […] many studies show they are clinically as effective, if not more so, than APF treatments.”
       – Dr. Timothy Wright, Professor of Pediatric Dentistry, University of North Carolina

fluoride-treatmentSeveral reviews of the use of fluoride therapies in preventing dental caries have been published since the year 2000, including 2 evidence-based reports. The Cochrane reviews of this topic concluded, “Fluoride varnishes applied professionally two to four times a year would substantially reduce tooth decay in children.” In addition, an expert panel of the American Dental Association recently concluded, “Fluoride varnish applications take less time, create less patient discomfort and achieve greater patient acceptability than fluoride gels, especially in preschool-aged children.”

Studies examining the effectiveness of varnish in controlling early childhood caries are currently being conducted in the United States. More research on fluoride varnish is likely to continue in both Europe and North America to determine optimal fluoride concentration, the most effective application protocols, and its efficacy relative to other fluoride modalities (CDC 2001).


PureLife offers the top brands of fluoride varnish, including Vanish by 3M ESPE, NUPRO White Varnish by Dentsply Professional, DuraShield CV by Sultan Healthcare, Duraflor Halo by Medicom, and the BPA-free Embrace Varnish by Pulpdent. To learn more about these great products, call our product experts at 877-777-3303.

Preempting Allergic Reactions

Allergic Reactions to Dental Materials

Be prepared to react quickly to a patient’s adverse reaction

While in the dental chair, a patient can suddenly experience an adverse reaction to a drug, product, or material. Those most susceptible to allergic reactions are patients with asthma, a history of hay fever, or allergies to trees, grasses, animals, dust, molds and certain medications. Tailoring dental products to a patient’s health history is a proactive yet precautionary practice to minimize the occurrence of an adverse reaction. In the event that an adverse reaction does occur, recognizing the symptoms and reacting quickly is critical.



MATERIALS: Latex is most commonly found in gloves. Other dental materials that contain latex include latex dams, gutta-percha, mixing bowls, orthodontic elastics, some suction tips, bite blocks, and amalgam carriers.

SYMPTOMS: Adverse reactions can be classified as allergic contact dermatitis (Type IV hypersensitivity) or true latex allergy (Type I hypersensitivity). Allergic contact dermatitis is a reaction to the chemical additives used in the manufacture of latex gloves (OSAP, 2013). Symptoms take several hours to develop, and include swelling, redness, itching, and blistering/cracking of the skin. Conversely, true latex allergy is a reaction to the latex proteins. These proteins can infiltrate the body through skin and mucosa. If latex lightly powdered gloves are used, aerosolized latex proteins can also enter the respiratory system during gloving and ungloving. Reactions can range from erythema and hives to the most severe reactions characterized by anaphylaxis.

PRECAUTIONS: Patients with true latex allergy (Type I hypersensitivity) require the use of non-latex gloves, such as nitrile, neoprene or vinyl. Patients with allergic contact dermatitis (Type IV hypersensitivity) require the use of vinyl gloves, as nitrile and neoprene gloves contain the same chemical additives found in natural rubber latex.


Local_anesthesiaMATERIALS: Allergic reactions are only caused by ester-type anesthetics, which are used for topical application rather than local injection. Ester-type anesthetics, such as procaine, propoxycaine and chloroprocaine, are more
commonly known by their brand names: Novocain, Ravocaine, Nesacaine and Hurricaine. Amide-type anesthetics, like lidocaine, mepivacaine and prilocaine, can cause reactions resembling allergic reactions, but the anesthesia itself is not a true allergen.

SYMPTOMS: Most patient-reported “allergic” reactions to local anesthetics — namely heightened anxiety and increased heart rate — are really sensitivities to epinephrine. Occasionally, patients might experience a toxicity reaction, which can be attributed to preservatives (methylparaben) or antioxidants (bisulfites) contained in the solution. A toxicity reaction is more common when the anesthetic is used plain (i.e., does not contain a vasoconstrictor), which prevents the anesthetic from leaving the anesthetized site too rapidly.

PRECAUTIONS: Anesthetic cartridges without a vasoconstrictor should be used for patients with epinephrine sensitivity, or when a patient has severe heart disease or recent myocardial infarction. Topical anesthetics should be used sparingly, as excessive amounts or contact with the oral section of the pharynx could intensify a reaction.


food_coloringMATERIALS: Color dyes are typically found in prophy pastes, mouthwashes, fluorides and colored gloves. Red and yellow dyes are the main types of dyes that cause allergic reactions. Red #40, Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 are types of artificial dyes, whereas annatto is a natural coloring substance that comes from seeds of the annatto tree (Yacono, 2011).

SYMPTOMS: Skin irritations, such as eczema or hives, are common symptoms that develop after the ingestion of a particular dye. In rare cases, certain dies can cause anaphylactic shock. The effects of color dyes on behavioral issues—especially in children—are currently being researched.

PRECAUTIONS: Dye-free prophy pastes, fluorides, rinses, etc. are available alternatives and should be used with patients reporting a dye allergy, or as an option for pediatric patients.

PureLife Perks Rewards Program

Get Rewarded for Being a PureLife Customer

PureLife Perks members enjoy exclusive discounts, cash rewards and more

We’ve got a lot of love for our customers, which is why we’re introducing PureLife Perks — a new program that rewards loyal customers with exclusive discounts, cash rewards, special promotions, and continuing education resources. With our expanded selection of top brands and 50% more items in our 2014 catalog, it’s easier than ever to rack up perks.

The program contains three membership levels, each with an annual merchandise commitment requirement and a unique set of perks. See the full rundown of the benefits enjoyed with each level:

Perks Levels 2*some restrictions apply

Apply Now!

To apply for enrollment, just complete the Application Form below. For more information on the Perks Program, visit www.purelifedental.com/perks or call us at 877-777-3303.

PureLife Perks Application Form

Please complete the form below and we'll notify you of your enrollment status within 5 business days!



Introducing the Feel Good Collection

Introducing the PureLife Feel Good Collection

Make a difference in the health of your patients, staff and environment – without harming your wallet

Your patients, staff, and bottom line are important factors in your purchasing decisions. At PureLife, we actively seek out profit-boosting products that make a positive difference in human and environmental health—so you no longer need to sacrifice profitability to achieve responsibility. Compared to their traditional counterparts, products and services in our Feel Good Collection offer additional benefits to human and/or environmental health.


Patient and staff health is a top priority for all dental professionals. PureLife actively seeks out products that contain better alternatives to chemicals known to cause harm to human health, such as bisphenol A, triclosan and phenols.


Whether they contain recycled materials, come in reduced or recycled content packaging, or are produced in in a manufacturing facility powered by biofuels, these items make a difference in environmental health. Plus, any supplies ordered from PureLife automatically come with a reduced eco-impact.  That’s because we offset the carbon emissions that result from our operations by funding reforestation programs through CarbonFund® In fact, our offset donations represent the equivalent of planting over 150,000 trees and letting them grow for ten years!


PureLife offers comprehensive waste solutions that help you meet OSHA regulations and still save money. From economical amalgam separators to on-demand waste disposal services, we offer waste solutions that are convenient, affordable and compliant.

Start feeling good about the supplies you use in your practice! Check out the entire Feel Good Collection here.

Where in the World…

Gray Market Goods: Bad For Business

Are your dental supplies putting your patients at risk?

It’s hard to pass up a good bargain when you see it. However, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to dental products offered at deeply discounted pricing. These goods may actually be “gray market” goods — those intended for international sale, but which are rerouted back to distributors in the US and made available to dentists at very low prices. They can seem like a good deal, but there are risks associated with the gray market:

  • Products are often sold “as is” with no returns or warranties
  • Safety recalls are often not communicated to the end-user
  • Products may be counterfeit or altered to fit foreign specifications
  • Products might be expired or stored in improper conditions
  • Legal liability is held solely with the purchaser, not the manufacturer

Each of these conditions puts both the dentist and the patient at risk, so it’s important to know where your dental products are coming from. There are four distinct red flags for identifying a gray market product: 


If a product is selling at a significantly lower price that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Low price is the most obvious red flag of gray market goods.


There are many reputable dental distributors out there that only carry products they are authorized to sell. However, a number of internet-based dental dealers have recently emerged in the industry. Some are unauthorized dealers that will redirect goods intended for foreign sale back to the US, and then re-sell them on their website. If ordering from a web-only supplier, pay special attention to the product prices. If you find they are substantially lower than other distributors’ pricing, you may have encountered a gray market site.


Because gray market products are intended for a market outside the United States, they are manufactured with different specifications and usually with different labels. If you check your stock and see a product that doesn’t look quite right, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the language on the package something other than English?
  • Is the packaging smeared, uneven, or of lesser quality than you have previously seen with products of the same brand?
  • Is the product name current or a previous name from an earlier version of the product?
  • Is the bar code or any aspect of the product description blocked out?
  • Is the product marked “For export only” or “Not registered for sale in the United States?”


Has the product expired? Does it appear that the expiration date has been changed? If you notice a package that meets any of these criteria, don’t hesitate to reach out to the manufacturer of that brand or product. When it comes down to it, although discounted dental products are available, the cost of overcoming the potential problems for patients caused by gray market products can be far greater than the amount saved.

At PureLife, providing quality products to our customers is our top priority, which is why we offer money-back guarantees on all purchases. Also, we only purchase products from authorized manufacturers. We couldn’t live up to these promises with gray market products, so we simply don’t buy them!

PureLife is proud to be an authorized distributor of these great brands

PureLife is proud to be an authorized distributor of these great brands

The Best Tax Code Ever

Reap the Benefits of the 2013 Section 179 Tax Deduction

Purchase equipment for your practice before maximum write-off amounts are reduced in 2014

With the end of the year fast approaching, many dental practices are stocking up on supplies before the 2013 tax declaration deadline. Section 179 of the IRS tax code provides some real relief to dental practice owners purchasing equipment in 2013. If you are even thinking about purchasing equipment for your practice, now is the time to do it.  Starting next year, the current benefits of Section 179 are scheduled to be drastically reduced. The 2013 deduction limit of $500,000 will be reduced to $25,000 in 2014, and the equipment purchase limit of $2 million will be cut to $200,000.


While Section 179 doesn’t increase the total amount you can deduct in a single year, it allows you to benefit from the deduction all at once. In other words, rather than having to deduct an asset’s value over the course of several years, Section 179 allows businesses to get the entire depreciation deduction in a single year, a practice known as first-year expensing.

“Many business owners prefer to write off entire equipment purchases the year they buy it. In years past, many companies avoided purchasing new equipment because they’d have to wait several years to realize the tax write-off in its entirety” – Ryan Goodrich, Business News Daily contributor

According to regular depreciation rules, if  you were to purchase all-new high-speed handpieces for each of your operatories, you’d be obligated to deduct a portion of each handpiece’s cost over multiple years. For the next five years, you’d only be able to deduct a fraction of the overall expense. With the Section 179 tax code, however, you are allowed to immediately deduct the entire expense of the handpieces in a single year instead of having to track their depreciation over time.


Up to $500 in dental equipment can be written off via Section 179

Up to $500,000 in dental equipment can be written off in 2013 via Section 179

All new and used equipment is eligible for deduction up to $500,000 for 2013. All companies that lease, finance or purchase equipment with a total value of less than $2,000,000 still qualify for the Section 179 deduction. Expenses over that maximum amount begin to decrease on a dollar-for-dollar deduction scale, effectively gearing this tax code toward small and medium-sized businesses.

Large businesses that exceed the $2 million threshold in capital expenditure can take a Bonus Depreciation of 50% on the amount that exceeds the limit. Also, businesses with a net loss in 2013 qualify to deduct some of the cost of new equipment and carry-forward the loss.

Most tangible goods qualify for the Section 179 Deduction. For basic guidelines on what equipment is covered under the Section 179 tax code, refer to this list of qualifying equipment. Note: To qualify for the Section 179 Deduction, the equipment and/or software purchased or financed must be placed into service between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Check out an example of Section 179 at work:


 SOURCE: Section179.org

Bad News for BPA

Bad News for BPA

New research links BPA exposure to disrupted enamel formation and childhood obesity, among other problems

Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical compound found in many everyday plastic products, caused widespread alarm outside of dentistry in 2010, after several studies linked it to health problems. Many manufacturers of plastic bottles, particularly those used by children, were prompted to exclude the substance from their formulations.

Since the first composite resin was introduced in the 1960s, dental composites and sealants containing BPA have been developed. Within the last 25 years, researchers have reported detectable levels of BPA in patients treated with dental sealants. This year alone, more and more evidence is mounting against BPA, with new studies suggesting that exposure to BPA may have harmful effects on human health, particularly during a child’s early development years.

diversity-group-children1New research from France has suggested that BPA exposure in children can adversely affect cells that produce tooth enamel, making it fragile or brittle. The researchers studied the effects of low daily doses of BPA on the teeth of laboratory rats. Results showed tooth enamel damage in the rats to be characteristic of a childhood tooth enamel condition called Molar Incisor Hypomineralisation (MIH), which occurs selectively in permanent incisors and first molars1.

MIH affects about 18% of children between the ages of 6 and 8. Children with MIH are highly prone to dental caries and are very susceptible to tooth sensitivity and pain. Connections between this condition and the results studied in the rats’ teeth are even stronger due to the fact that the age at which children develop their first molars and permanent incisors is the age at which studies show that humans are most sensitive to BPA.

A study examining the relationship between BPA and obesity in school-age children found that girls between 9 and 12 years of age with higher-than-average levels of BPA in their urine had double the risk of being obese than girls with lower levels of BPA2.

The study was conducted in Shanghai as part of a larger national study of puberty and adolescent health, and may provide evidence that confirms recent and past findings from animal studies – that high BPA exposure levels could increase the risk of children becoming overweight or obese.

BPA acts as an endocrine disruptor, a substance that disturbs the endocrine system. The endocrine system is a series of glands — such as the thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands — that releases hormones affecting sexual development, growth and metabolism. Some chemicals, like BPA, can alter hormone levels.

“Girls in the midst of puberty may be more sensitive to the impacts of BPA on their energy balance and fat metabolism,” said De-Kun Li, MD, PhD, principal investigator of the study and a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California2.

Other studies have suggested that BPA exposure affects the reproductive systems of laboratory animals. A study published in January by researchers at the New York University School of Medicine found that even low levels of BPA may put children and adolescents at a higher risk of heart and kidney disease. Another recent study linked BPA exposure to childhood asthma.

Did you know that PureLife offers a variety of BPA-free products? For example, Venus Diamond and Venus Pearl composites by Heraeus Kulzer boast a patented BPA-free urethane monomer chemistry. Also, the Embrace line of cements and sealants from Pulpdent and the new Toothfairy BPA-Free Pit & Fissure Sealant from Septodont utilize an advanced BPA-free resin technology.

1 Early BPA exposure may adversely affect formation of tooth enamel. (2013, June 13). Dental Tribune.
2 Chemical in plastics may double obesity risk in puberty-age girls. (2013, June 14). Jagran Post