How to Dispose of Old Dental Equipment

Dispose of Old Dental Equipment

Hardworking men and women use various tools to perform their jobs. Dentists are no different. They have a wide array of dental equipment and supplies manufactured to take constant use, day in and day out, but like most things in life, they don’t last forever.

Many dentistry suppliers provide chairs, stools, cabinets, vacuum systems, air compressors, autoclaves and ultrasonic cleaners. Most equipment lasts 10-15 years. However, handpiece drills last three years and X-ray units last five years at most. This means you will replace the equipment needed to keep your practice thriving.

This is the cost of doing business and part of your financial budgeting, but what do you do with the old stuff? It can be challenging, especially with larger items, but solutions exist.

This is how to dispose of old dental equipment.


Donating is a way to give to a worthy organization that will, in turn, sell your equipment and use the money for their cause. This usually comes with a tax write-off, which you will also benefit from.

Check with the charity if they accept dental equipment. Some are set up for this and have a network of clients looking for used items. Ensure everything you donate is in proper working condition or can be repaired so it is worth it for the charity. Also, request a tax receipt to add to your tax returns for a write-off.

Give Your Equipment to Other Clinics

Depending on where you live, low-cost or free clinics need more equipment. This enables your used items to have an extended life and serve the public rather than being thrown away.

Some other dental clinics may need to replace their older equipment with ones they are familiar with instead of purchasing fresh items, so they would also be in the market for them. This gives real value to the pre-owned market and is an excellent way to transfer ownership to others.

Offer Them Up for Free

Another option is to list your used equipment online. There are dedicated dental sites to list them, such as Dental Town or other dental society classifieds. You will probably find someone to take them off your hands. There are other places that offer free stuff, such as Craigslist or Facebook marketplace.


Most dental equipment is manufactured with recyclable materials like metal and plastic. Check with your local depot, especially if you’re dealing with hazardous waste collection services, to see if they will take your stuff as is or if you need to take it apart into bite-sized chunks for safe disposal. You may even be able to take certain parts off first and sell them for scrap on their own.


These are one-use items that must be dealt with; they typically go in the trash. You may be able to come up with a greener alternative to disposing of your used items so you can be an eco dentist. Some examples are:

  • Biodegradable cups
  • Laundered lab coats instead of paper
  • Paper suction cups, both high-speed and low-speed
  • Biodegradable nitrate gloves
  • Biodegradable pouches for the autoclave
  • Stainless steel suction tips
  • Air tips, water tips and impression trays

These alternatives can be found at online suppliers, and they can easily ship anything you want to make sure you don’t run out or replace what you have.

Non-Dental Specific Equipment

Beyond the dental tools that only function in the field, other equipment can work for other businesses, professions, offices, and trades. For example, you may have waiting room chairs that need replacing, and these can be sold online or donated to a charity or community centre. Moreover, dentists use different tables that are not connected to their equipment, and these may be sold or donated.

Usually, cabinets are modern-looking pieces made of metal or other easy-to-clean surfaces but can be upcycled to use in a shop or office. In addition, everyone needs a desk, so you should have no problems finding a new home for your old one. This could be at almost any business place with an office or even for someone who works remotely from home.

This is how to dispose of old dental equipment. Removing the old stuff shouldn’t be a hassle whether you are retiring from your dental practice or need new equipment. Try all of these ideas or a combination to pass along the tools of your dentistry trade.

Contact your dental supplier to get all the new items you require. It is a win-win situation because you get new equipment, and those in need have used items that will serve them well.