Posted on: 17 September 2021Share
Dentistry is a vital service, but like everything in the modern world, it leaves a carbon footprint that may be contributing to climate change. Fortunately, many practices are changing to eco-friendly ways of working. You may want to check how far your own practice has adopted these strategies.
Dental clinics are like any other business in that they generate waste. Although this is unavoidable it can be limited, and its impact can be lessened by using biodegradable materials. Many practices keep digital records and only print documents when necessary to keep patients' records confidential. Rinses and mouthwashes can be given in biodegradable rather than plastic cups, while excess dental wax (which is used for moulding and making casts of the teeth) can be recycled and used to make more products.
There are many new technologies that allow dentistry to be kinder to the environment. Digital radiography uses much less energy than analogue X-rays and gives off less harmful radiation. This method uses digital imaging techniques and 3D scanners to provide a far more accurate picture of the roots and nerves of your teeth. It also avoids the need for film and the chemicals needed to develop the images, which can have a harmful environmental impact. Another new technology is a dry vacuum system to replace the usual saliva ejector system, which will use a lot less water than traditional vacuum systems for the mouth.
Finally, your practice may try to use materials that are less toxic to you and the environment. Mercury in fillings is a poisonous substance that can contaminate water sources if it is disposed of incorrectly, and it uses a lot of energy to mine and extract. It can be replaced with composite fillings, and many practices will remove and replace old fillings for proper disposal. They may also make recommendations about what you can use at home in your dental hygiene regimen. Instead of an ordinary plastic toothbrush, which will not biodegrade, they may suggest you use a sustainable bamboo toothbrush.
There are many ways in which dental clinics are becoming kinder to the environment and lowering their carbon footprint. If you have any concerns, your local practice will be happy to explain some of the ways in which they are doing their part in helping to combat climate change.
For more information, contact a dentist in your area today.