When you think about pollution prevention and what businesses contribute to environmental waste, dental practices might not be the first one to come to mind. But when you think about the constant waste that dental offices produce each day, it does add up.
For example, plenty of dental offices are contributors to plastic waste by utilizing single-use plastic barriers and cups. Not to mention the disposable plastic trays, utility gloves for disinfecting the operatory, water and suction tips, and so much more.
Plastic takes 1000 years to decompose so imagine how much trash is being added into the pile. Each day dental practices operate and produce waste and that is multiplied by the number of dental offices around the country that do the same. Of this number, only a small amount gets melted down and repurposed. The rest breaks down into tiny pieces that end up in our lakes and oceans. It is then consumed by wildlife and, in turn, it is then consumed by us.
We believe that unless preventive processes are put in place, unsustainable practices will come back to haunt us. This belief strongly guides our dental operations, and is why we designed our office with green initiatives in mind.
Pollution Prevention in the Practice
The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, is an agency under the federal government that is tasked with environmental protection matters. It covers all parts of society, including businesses like dental offices. Three years ago, the EPA required dental clinics to use amalgam separators to reduce the amount of mercury entering the sewage system.
Aside from following the federal ruling above, our practice also does a lot more to make our business more eco-friendly. Below are some (out of many!) ways we are contributing to a healthier environment:
1. Reducing the use of plastic and paper barriers. We try to reduce as much waste as we possibly can by using alternatives that don’t leave as large of an environmental footprint.
2. Use of autoclave or steam sterilization. An autoclave machine will kill the bacteria, spores, and fungi off metal or autoclavable plastic using high-pressure steam. This allows us to reuse our materials safely instead of relying on disposable plastics.
3. Digital images instead of traditional dental x-rays. Our use of a digital imaging process not only significantly reduces radiation, but it also saves on countless lead foils and liters of toxic x-ray fixer solutions that traditional x-rays require.
4. Paperless communications. We use electronic means to send our appointment reminders and other patient communications to save on paper and ink. If we have to use print communications, we use recycled materials instead.
5. We recycle. We have implemented a recycling program to make sure that as much waste as possible is recycled instead of ending up in a landfill.
We are proudly Certified Green Dentistry.
White Dental Studio has been certified at the highest level by the Eco-Dentistry Association, an association that is tasked with promoting environmentally sound practices in the dental industry. We have put several green processes in place and we hope to keep improving for the sake of our patients and the environment.
Call us at 541-708-6288 to book your environmentally-friendly appointment today!