The Eco-Dentistry Association defines green dentistry as practice that:
- Reduces waste and pollution
- Saves energy, water and money
- Incorporates high-tech innovations
- Is wellness based
Here are some compelling reasons and tips for re-thinking hygiene practice:
- Switch to re-usable cloth infection control and sterilization products.
- Choose and eco-friendly disinfectant and line cleaner.
- Use bulk-prophy paste to reduce the waste from single-serving packaging
- Make sure electronic equipment is turned off every night to reduce “phantom load” which is estimated to account for 10% of the typical energy bill.
- Share the “Save 90 ADay!” Campaign with your patients, encouraging them to turn off the water while they brush their teeth, saving as much as 90 glasses of water per day.
- Reduce the use of disposables and switch to re-usables and you’ll lower your practice overhead and attract green dentistry patients who prioritize their health.
Re-think your tools.
There is a 1:1 correlation between high-tech dentistry and eco-friendly dentistry.
- Learn to use diode lasers for periodontal therapy.
- Use digital imaging. If your practice hasn’t made the switch, become familiar with how to operate the various digital imaging systems on the market so you’re green-office ready.
Re-think your role.
Your value to your patient lies in your technical skill, but also in your role as a health educator, co-therapist and coach.
- Incorporate aromatherapy. Look for hand sanitizer, lotions and soaps that incorporate essential oils that are calming for patients, helping them relax and prepare for a healing experience in your chair.
- Share research and information about the relationship of periodontal disease to diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses with your patients.
- Read labels. Check out the ingredients of the dental products you’re recommending, and make sure they don’t include sodium lauryl sulphate, alcohol or titanium dioxide (often found in whitening toothpastes, this ingredient is also found in wall paint!)