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 Post subject: Dentist question
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 9:01 am 
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Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 8:34 am
Posts: 3
Location: dallas
A friend of mine had a tooth pulled in Dallas. He asked the dentist for the rather large tooth. The dentist replied "no, giving you the tooth would be against the law". Can this be true? Surely Big Brother has not gone this far.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 10:28 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2003 10:59 am
Posts: 277
I don't know for sure, but I'll take a shot at the question. It appears that extracted teeth are designated as a biohazard in Texas. 22 Texas Administrative Code § 109.222(g) provides:

"All items contaminated by body fluids during patient care must be treated as biohazardous material. Before extracted teeth are returned to a patient or other party, the teeth must be rendered non-biohazardous. All contaminated single-use items must be disposed of through established OSHA guidelines for such disposal. Teeth or tissue fragments to be used for microscopic, testing, or educational purposes must be sterilized prior to use. Such tissues must be handled and stored as biohazardous material until sterilization is performed."

My guess is that the dentist meant that they couldn't return the tooth until it was decontaminated, and I'll take a further guess that the dentist had no plan or obligation to decontaminate it for return to the patient. If those guesses are correct, the state of things is that a child can buy very toxic materials at a garden center, but you can't necessarily retrieve your own tooth for the tooth fairy. :wink: I jest a little because the tissue presents an infectious hazard, including serious things such as HIV and hepatitis.

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In theory, theory and practice are the same; in practice, they aren't -- lament of the synthetic lifestyle.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 6:55 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2004 11:22 am
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I am a dentist. Teeth are considered a biohazard. The reason you are not to give teeth back is to protect the public in case you loose the tooth on the way home. The tooth still has tissue inside that contains small amounts of blood and could be infectious. This also applies to kids teeth, but most dentists give them back so the tooth fairy can come and visit.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 8:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2003 9:06 am
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Location: Midlothian,TEXAS
I'm glad to hear that the Tooth Fairy still has a job.

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Listen to Neil Sperry every week, take notes... and then do the exact opposite.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 8:34 am 
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Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 8:34 am
Posts: 3
Location: dallas
Thank you all. I posted the same question on cattletoday.com and a dentist from La. said that different states have different rules but he gives them back if asked for, but if he keeps them he must dispose of them in a prescribed manner. Thanks again.


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