How DSOs Can Leverage Their Scrap Recycling Program to Fund Business Goals

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Dental scrap recycling revenues could result in thousands of dollars in additional profits.

Dental scrap includes crowns, bridges, PFMs, and other metal byproducts extracted during dental procedures. This dental material contains highly-valuable precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, and palladium; which can be recycled for thousands of dollars in profit.

Throwing away dental scrap could result in an office literally throwing away gold.

Garfield Refining can create a centralized dental scrap recycling program across multiple offices, which will ensure that group practices can maximize the revenue generated from dental scrap recycling. Leaving recycling procedures up to individual offices could result in receiving payouts that are far below fair market value. Even worse, a lack of a cohesive recycling plan may expose individual offices to compliance issues.

To see whether Garfield’s Dental Scrap Refining
program for DSOs would be beneficial for your organization,

On a single-office level, this yearly loss may seem negligible, but multiply it across several offices, and it’s clear to see that a group practice could lose thousands of dollars in additional revenue as a result of an inefficient recycling program.

How Much Can You Profit?

It’s safe to say that larger dental practices could profit tens of thousands of dollars each year by centralizing their refining procedures. While precious metal prices have fluctuated due to recent market forces, the price of gold is still strong at $1,638 per ounce and palladium, another common metal used in dental procedures, is hovering at around $2,000 per ounce, according to (04.6.2020).

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the value of recycling dental scrap is highly variable and reliant on two main factors: the cost of administering the program and office compliance.

Setting up new processes and workflows and paying staff to administer them can be costly. An easier alternative is working directly with a precious-metal refinery that already has the processes in place, like Garfield Refining. This way, you’re getting the infrastructure, education, staff, and tools to oversee your dental scrap refining program and ensure that it stays efficient without having to burden your staff with another process.

To set up a recycling program with Garfield for your organization,
completely free-of-charge, click here.

Garfield will also provide free solutions to help collect and ship dental scrap. Most offices will recycle their dental scrap anywhere from 2-4 times per year, depending on the volume of patients. Getting all of your offices on a specific schedule will create a stream of revenue that you can rely on.

In addition, a lack of office compliance can also open you up to potential liability. Material aggregated and sold to a cash buyer or thrown away equates to lost profits for the group. Automated shipping, notifications, and office outreach can help centralize the program but can be costly to implement, which is another reason why working with Garfield is ideal.

Recycle and Reuse Revenues

For DSOs and group practices, recycling is often considered a compliance issue. Federal and state laws mandate proper recycling of dental scrap, amalgam, and other materials like x-ray film. Recycling this material is ultimately an added liability that increases administrative burdens and cuts into yearly profits. In fact, according to the EPA, one-time installation costs for recycling equipment can range anywhere from $695 – $3,389, with maintenance costs ranging from $486 – $1,289/yearly, per office. Multiply these fees across offices and the cost of recycling can add up.

What most DSO managers don’t realize is that they can actually use “dental scrap” recycling to eliminate or reduce other recycling costs.

Offsetting other recycling costs isn’t the only way group practices and DSOs can use their dental scrap recycling funds. Scrap recycling revenues can also be used to pay for yearly hygienist bonuses or to purchase new equipment. It can fund capital improvements or be funneled into a practice’s annual marketing budget. Instead of overlooking the value of dental scrap recycling, DSOs should see it as an opportunity to fund other areas of the business.

Written by: Abby Stevens, Director of Joint Ventures at Garfield Refining

For more information, visit Garfield Refining, call (800) 523-0968,
or email and ask how you can
get set up Garfield’s DSO Recycling Program for your organization.


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