Dentistry is most importantly and foremost a healing profession. In today’s scenario it is very important to understand the need of going eco-friendly in every aspect of our lives including dental practice.
Green dentistry implements a sustainable practice by conservation of water and energy, use of non-toxic products, reduction of waste, and elimination of hazardous toxins that can have a negative effect on patient and environment and promote ‘green dentistry’.
Mainly four processes responsible for most of the dental practice and pollution:-
- Placement and removal of mercury containing dental material
- Conventional x-ray systems
- Infection control methods including disposable items, sterilization items and toxic disinfectants
- Conventional vacuum saliva ejector systems
To make dental practice environmental friendly it is the duty of the practitioner to emphasize on the importance of 3R’s:- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Minimize the use of natural resources. Water wastage is tremendous with use of dental vacuum system. Hence the use of dry vacuum system is the need of the day.
Reduce the use of mercury containing material as mercury is hazardous for health and environment.
Limiting the use of conventional x-ray system helps in preventing the contamination caused the solutions and films.
Few disposables should be discarded and replaced with reusable items to reduce the pollution like:-
- Cloth patient bib
2. Reusable cups
3. Cloth head rest covers
4. Reusable metal tips
5. Cloth operatory and sterilization method
Recyclable products should be use reduce pollution/contamination of the environment.
Usage of Community Recycling Facility to recycle paper and plastic waste and using biodegradable, if not possible to use recyclable products in a dental office help to develop an eco-friendly dentistry.
Sustainable and Green Dentistry is not only beneficial for dental practitioners but for the patients and community as well as for global health and well-being.
Dr. Aditi Saxena
Realtooth Dental Clinic