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How You Can Support the Green Dentistry Movement

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How You Can Support the Green Dentistry Movement

What is Green Dentistry and the Eco-Dentistry Movement? Learn more about it and how you can make a positive difference. The Eco-Dentistry Association (EDA) provides patients with ways they can help the mission of the Green Dentistry Movement to safeguard our environment from dental-related pollution and waste.  Aside from making sure that you are choosing a dentist who has decided to establish an eco-dentistry-centered practice–such as Dr. Berry–you can also help other dentists to make the change by being proactive. To show our commitment to total body wellness and reducing our environmental footprint, it is important that we evaluate the products, services and technology we use.  Learn more about the Green Dentistry Movement, eco-dentistry tips, and proactive steps that you can take to support this movement.

The Green Dentistry Movement

Over the years, society has begun to make a more concentrated effort to reuse, recycle and reduce. This attention to the needs of our growing and changing environment is necessary for the long-term health of our planet and the people who inhabit it. Dental practices have been shown to produce a large amount of metallic waste from necessary dental procedures along with large amounts water and electricity usage.  The Eco-Dentistry Association® (EDA) estimates 1.7 billion sterilization pouches and 680 million chair barriers, light handle covers, and patient bibs end up in landfill each year from US dental offices alone. These numbers must be addressed.  To help reuse, recycle and reduce, the eco-dentistry/green dentistry standards were released to establish some guidelines for the industry. 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

Suggestions for How Dental Offices Can Reduce

  • Buy frequently used items (Prophy paste, gloves, masks, cotton squares) in bulk
  • Have supply companies combine orders to save shipping boxes
  • Program printers for double-sided printing
  • Use digital technology for imaging, impressions, cancer screening, charting, marketing
  • Integrate steam sterilization in place of chemicals

Mountain Aire Dentistry stands behind these standards and principles for reducing and has designed our practice to work with re-usables.  It has been estimated that a single-dentist practice can save as much as 4,680 paper and plastic autoclave bags each year by making these changes.  By deciding to use one-ply patient bibs instead of two-ply, a dental practice can divert as much as 40,800 pieces of paper and 20,400 pieces of plastic from landfill each year.

Other changes you may see us practicing in our office include the EDA’s suggestions for reusing:

  • Switch to cloth sterilization bags & patient barriers
  • Wear cloth lab coats instead of paper ones
  • Use a reusable face shield
  • Re-use lab & shipping boxes
  • Switch to stainless steel impression trays, suction tips
  • Provide glass or ceramic “rinse & swish” cups
  • Use washable dishes & cutlery in the staff break room

Proactive Steps You Can Take to Support the Green Dentistry Movement

We have taken active steps to evoke change in our environment by doing what WE can do. The  Eco-Dentistry Association® (EDA) also provides YOU, the patient, with ways YOU can help support the Green Dentistry Movement.  Start with choosing to give your patronage to a dentist that is practicing eco-dentistry standards and then help other dentists to make those same changes as well.  The Eco-Dentistry Association® (EDA) offers these proactive ideas you can take to evoke change:

  1. Choose to receive your dental services and care from a dentist dedicated to the Green Dentistry Movement and EDA standards.
  2. Write a letter to your dentist explaining how you value eco-friendly service providers
  3. Be informed and take the EDA questions (see below) to your dentist to find out how committed they are to a better you and a better environment:
    • Are you a member of the Eco-Dentistry Association®? Is your practice EDA Certified
    • Do you offer digital x-rays?
    • Are you a paperless office or do you use paper billing and paper patient charting?
    • Do you use disposable or reusable cloth patient bibs?
    • Do you use disposable paper cups, paper lab coats, or plastic chair barriers?
    • How do you dispose of mercury-containing silver fillings?
    • Do you have an amalgam separator installed?
    • Do you have a recycling program in your office?
    • Do you use steam sterilization methods instead of chemical sterilization?
    • Do you offer salivary diagnostics?

Call for an Appointment

Dr. Berry and his staff believe in the Green Dentistry Movement–for what it can do for our environment and for what it can do for our patients’ total body wellness needs and goals. To learn more about the Green Dentistry Movement,  or to schedule treatment at our eco-friendly office,  call our Broomfield office today at 303-872-7755. Our team at Mountain Aire Dentistry is dedicated to both our environmental health and to your health.