With the ever-increasing focus around the world on green issues, dentistry has had to take stock, not just as an industry, but at a dental practice level, of how much each dentist does or does not contribute to the harm which is inflicted upon the environment. While dentistry might not be considered a ‘heavy industry’, it certainly does not qualify as a profession whose green credentials have always been up to the mark.
Yokine Dentists www.clearchoicedental.com.au tells us there are a number of processes, procedures, and ways of working within the dental field have been pinpointed as especially harmful to the environment. These include the amount of water used and wasted during appointments, the amount of mercury that is discarded within amalgam, and the harmful chemicals present in traditional x-ray photography and development.
Thankfully, as an industry, dentists have realised that they have a huge part to play in reducing the number of processes and procedures that cause harm to the environment and as such new treatments, apparatus, and processes are being introduced. The move to switch dentistry’s carbon footprint will not happen overnight, but as each dental practice amends its day-to-day procedures, the positive impact will be cumulative.
One point which might not immediately spring to mind with regards to how a dentist can improve their green credentials is that it is not just about what they do personally. They can also educate their patients how they can help. Oral health and hygiene is not something that only takes place within the confines of the dental practice, and much of what patients do at home has implications for the environment.