There’s a lot of buzz in the recent years about going green across different industries, most especially in dentistry. Being eco-friendly, however, is more than a hot topic — it’s supposed to be the way of life for dentists who want to sustain the growth of their practice. You can’t make your profession a success if you don’t have a good business environment to allow it to thrive. That’s why going green is the way to go. But what exactly does green practice mean? Here are the elements that make for a green dental clinic:
Manages waste effectively
Reduce, reuse, and recycle. You can never take these three out of the ‘green equation’. In terms of reducing, start by going paperless. Use the technology available out there, like cloud computing, in creating patient charts, setting appointments, and sending reminders and alerts to patients. This way, you can let them access such info through their smartphones or tablets. Use steam sterilisation to reduce the use of chemicals, too.
On the aspect of reusing, evaluate your tools and see which can be replaced with more sustainable materials. For instance, most dentists are now going for stainless steel impression trays, prophy cups, and suction tips, as well as glass or ceramic rinse and swish cups, and tools that have rechargeable batteries. In terms of recycling, dedicate trash bins around your office for plastic, glass, and aluminium. Roll out a recycling program, in which your patients and staff can participate.
Conserves energy and water
Install energy-efficient windows and skylights in your office. Let in natural light, so you can lessen the use of artificial lights indoors. For artificial lights, use fluorescent or LED light bulbs instead of incandescent. Remember the golden rule in using lights: Turn it off when not used. It’s also important to keep your dental and medical equipment well-maintained. Scheduled check-ups can help address problems early on before they go worse, which means you’d be able to use such equipment for a longer time and avoid the need for constantly disposing and replacing tools. In terms of water conservation, do a general inspection of your plumbing system at least once every quarter to make sure there aren’t any leaks. You can also install low-aerators on sinks and low-flush toilets.
Improves air quality
Air quality is also important in creating a green dental clinic. Consider your interior design. Use paint that doesn’t contain volatile organic compounds and go for furniture and flooring made from natural materials. Always check the resources used in your office decor, as these might contain formaldehyde, which can cause indoor air pollution. Apart from the clinic itself, your dental equipment should be considered too. As you’re always handling materials that produce contaminants, like mercury from amalgam fillings, it’s important that your dental equipment have custom air filters to reduce the impact of such contaminants in your work environment, as well as patients.
Again, going green is more than a trend in dentistry. It should be one of the foundational elements of your work culture. So, strive for a more eco-friendly practice. Remember these tips as you introduce changes in your practice’s lifestyle.