How can the dentistry industry become more sustainable?

All of us will go to the dentist at some point, whether that’s regularly or just when you have an issue – they’re a vital part of life, and are a regular sight when you’re out and about. However, one thing you might not have previously considered about your dentist’s office is the impact that they’re having on the environment. With the planet heating up, like all businesses and individuals, dentists have a role to play when it comes to fighting climate change. 

As with all clinical settings, dentists often have a high number of patients coming in and out, which means lots of cleaning and hygiene protocols. From the electricity used to power the dental equipment, to the packaging of dental supplies, this means that dentistry offices can generate a lot of waste.

Here, we take a look at some of the issues in dentistry, why they’re a problem, and what could be done about it.

Energy.

From lighting to specialist tools, dentists get through plenty of electricity in a day. Unfortunately, unless your practice runs off a renewable energy source such as solar power, this energy is likely generated by burning fossil fuels. This releases harmful gases into the atmosphere, and contributes to global warming.

The first step that dentist offices can take is to try and make the switch to renewable energy. Whilst it’s probably unrealistic to expect everyone to pay up for solar panels or a domestic wind turbine, businesses can choose to get their electricity from a 100% renewable provider, or switch to a green tariff. There’s no way of controlling what type of energy flows into your plugs, but this will increase the amount of renewable energy units in the national grid mix.

Dentists can also make changes to cut the amount of electricity used in the first place. One simple way to reduce power consumption is to use LED lights instead of traditional fluorescent bulbs. LED lights last longer and use less energy, which can also lead to significant financial savings over time. 

In addition, dentists can invest in energy-efficient dental equipment. Newer models of dental chairs and x-ray machines use less power than older models, so upgrading to newer equipment can be a great way to save money and reduce emissions. Newer models of x-ray machines will also offer digital copies of scans. This will also help to reduce waste, as printed x-rays use non-recyclable materials.

Plastic waste.

As well as the huge amounts of energy used for lights, tools and x-rays, many dental procedures require the use of disposable materials, such as gloves, masks, and mouthguards. While these items are necessary for protecting both patients and dental professionals, they can create a lot of waste. 

Unfortunately, a lot of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is difficult to recycle, so it requires the business to take the lead and ensure this option is available to employees. This guide to the impact of PPE suggests finding a scheme that disposes of your used PPE responsibly, rather than just throwing it away. 

There is plenty to be done when it comes to making the dentistry industry more sustainable. Even a small switch like changing to a renewable energy provider or reducing the amount of plastic waste generated will make a big difference to the collective effort to fight climate change.

How can the dentistry industry become more sustainable?

All of us will go to the dentist at some point, whether that’s regularly or just when you have an issue – they’re a vital part of life, and are a regular sight when you’re out and about. However, one thing you might not have previously considered about your dentist’s office is the impact that they’re having on the environment. With the planet heating up, like all businesses and individuals, dentists have a role to play when it comes to fighting climate change. 

Halloween that is kind to your teeth

It's that time of year again! The time when ghosts and goblins come out to play... and so does the candy. Lots and lots of candy.

The Dark Side of Halloween

On October 31st, people across the globe will dress up in costumes, carve pumpkins, and eat copious amounts of candy. Though it may seem like an innocuous holiday, the truth is that Halloween has a dark side. 

Tooth.Eco collabs with Stipra.

Find out how you can earn a sustainable toothbrush through our partner, Tooth.Eco, by recycling your old toothbrushes and other plastic products!