Why do Filtered Amalgam Separators Clog and Fill so Easily?

M.A.R.S Bio-Med avoids many of the design flaws made by filtered based amalgam separators, opting for a filterless and maintenance free amalgam separator. Almost all filter based amalgam separators follow the same design principal, leaving many Dental Professionals asking why do they clog and fill so easily?

Today’s blog will be providing a simple answer to this question, breaking it up into two parts; Clogging and Filling.

Hole comparison

Clogging

All the material that enter the upper chamber of these filtered systems gets drawn through a 3/4″ hole, reducing the flow of the material, causing the clog in the upper chamber. If a large piece of bio-film or prophy paste were to enter into the upper chamber of these systems, the sedimentation hole leading from the upper chamber to the filter would clog.

clogged upper

The photo below compares the 3/4″ sedimentation hole of a filter based system to the sedimentation chute of the LibertyBOSS. When the flow is reduced to a smaller diameter that is what causes filter based systems to enter into by-pass.

Inlet Comparison (1)

Filling

In a previous blog series, M.A.R.S Answers the Question “What is an Amalgam Separator?” we explained that amalgam separators function on sedimentation, filling with any material heavier than water. With filter based amalgam separators, have a design flaw that has them fill faster.

In a conservative breakdown of the filter based amalgam separators vs. the LibertyBOSS, any office with 10+ chairs would need to change their filter every 1-4 weeks. The reason filtered based amalgam separators fill quickly, especially in large facilities, is bio-film. The design of the filtered amalgam separators does not allow for material lighter than water to escape, which means much of what is inside the filter is bio-film, especially for larger facilities.

The open design of the LibertyBOSS allows material not heavier than water to flow out of our system. Also, due to our large capacity, long service life, and effect suction line cleaner, the prophy paste build up in our separators have time to be broken down, removing the light organic material that normally fills other systems.

BEFORE AFTER (3)

The reason large facilities have higher levels of bio-film than a smaller clinic is that of time restraints. In M.A.R.S’ experience, most staff at a sizeable Dental Practice do not complete proper preventative maintenance on their suction lines because they do not have the time, or the Practice does not provide adequate training for suction line cleaners to be used properly. For this reason, bio-film will grow quickly, adding to what fills the filter based systems.

If Dental Practices performed proper preventative maintenance and used good line cleaner on their systems, the filter amalgam separators would have a longer service life.

Solution

Choose an amalgam separator that does not require filters, maintenance, or inspections. The M.A.R.S LibertyBOSS is at a minimum 1 ½” throughout our system, designed never to cause suction loss or fill before our provided service life.

no maintenance