Human activities have been causing irreversible damage to life on the planet through anthropogenic global warming that we are all a part of, even if you are vegan and drive a car run on old vegetable oi. The dental industry is well known for its procedures producing large amounts of greenhouse gases leading to large carbon footprints. It focuses on using items with one patient and throwing it away. Therefore, an increase in the number of patients increases the amount of waste. Green practices focus on improving the environment by reducing waste.
The environmental movement is gathering momentum in dentistry and practices in dentistry can be greener. Somerville dentist Dr. Brangan in the United States makes his office clean and environmentally friendly, as this benefit extends to the whole world benefits. Americans are usually leading the way in eco, so look to them for tips: Some of the additional services Brangan offers are also screenings for oral cancer. If you are going for a checkup ask your doctor to give you this service as well.
Are you a dentist looking to clean up and eco-fy your practice a bit more? While you won’t be able to change a lot of the tools you need, you can be mindful about the following which matters to your patients:
Recycling hazardous waste
Recycling in dental practices should be a practical tool to manage your office waste with an ultimate goal of reducing your waste. Implementing recycling can reduce the trash that gets to the landfill.
One of the best ways to recycle is participating in programs, which repair old dental instruments and donate the refurbished materials to dental practices that give free services to the needy. Maybe a local pottery studio would like some of the old tools for carving?
Try to find companies for medical and hazardous waste and set up a system for disposing and managing the recyclables. Lastly, working together as a dental staff to recycle items used every day like soda bottles can go a long in improving your green practices. Your clients will notice.
Eliminating reems of paper charts, paper forms and other trails of papers in the office make a good impact. It reduces dust and the way your office looks as well. Send reminders that automated to patients using smartphones, tablets, and computers offering new patient chart creation and tablet check-ins. For senior patients, a good old phone call can do the trick and beffore you burn their old records, give a couple month window for them to come and pick them up for posterity stake. Studies have shown that cloud computing reduces the carbon footprint as well as reducing the cost.
Conserving Energy in the Office
Conserving energy by staff members enables them to practice a green-economy in dentistry like turning off the lights and equipment. Setting the computers to go dark instead of using a screensaver. Having water filters in the office will also help staff members to conserve water by refilling reusable bottles rather than using disposable plastic bottles. In times of Covid however make sure that staff do not touch the water station with their bottles, but that they hover above.
Using Digital Radiography
Using digital radiography instead of the old-fashioned X-rays on the gums will eliminate the need to use traditional film X-Rays and adversely reduce the level of harmful chemicals released into the environment by traditional film X-rays. This practices also reduces the exposure of patients to radiation and enabling dentists to access X-ray images immediately on a screen, no wait time. It’s a very good service for busy clients and children, especially.
Metal-free Smile Treatments
Eco-friendly dental practices use metal-free restoration like composite tooth filling. They are safe for the environment and also offer a natural look to the patients who worry about their smile aesthetics.
Patient Products That Are Reusable
There are several types of disposables used by dentists in their practice such as headrest covers, latex gloves, patient bibs, and disposable plastic suction tips. This has created waste.
Therefore, dentistry is making their practices green by changing to bibs, cups, metal suction tips that are reusable and cloth headrest covers. There are services that can launder these items which have a better feel and touch to the end user.
Removing of Amalgam Fillings Safely
The use of mercury in the material for dental amalgam restorative and research has shown that it can create adverse effects on the patients and the environment. Green dental practices work with patients to remove the amalgam fillings, replace them with safe alternatives, and dispose of them safely.
Using Autoclavable Items
You rely on the autoclave to disinfect stainless steel instruments after each use. However, the list of autoclavable items goes beyond instruments. Cloth bibs, air and water tips, stainless steel prophy cups, and biodegradable dental suction tips are some of the reusable tools that can be autoclaved rather than using their plastic counterparts.
Disposal of waste effectively is a key concept in green dentistry. Dental practices can adhere to this by reducing the number of products they use. Examples include using biodegradable paper cups, decreasing the number of plastic barrier wraps, and dispensing patient self-care products without plastic bags. Dental practitioners can consider cycling waste such as gloves and masks and paper products.
Green dentistry is an eco-friendly approach. It shows that you are willing to invest time into caring about our planet and the environment for patients. Dentistry can participate in sustainable practices through small changes that have a positive impact on the environment and the people who meet you. Every dentist can participate in the conservation and reduction of greenhouse gases while minimizing landfill waste and water usage that contributes to a healthier environment and more sustainable resources. Green dental practices help dentistry give social value to the local community and a brighter future for present and future generations.