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Dental Clinic Waste: How Eco-Friendly Is It?

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In today’s era, the word ‘green’ has become an integral part of almost every industry. The media, after all, is constantly stressing on the wide range of environmental concerns such as melting of the ice caps, abundant carbon emissions, abnormal rise in the surrounding temperature, etc. Even the dental professionals are eager to become environment friendly, but most of them are not sure how.

What is Green Dentistry?

Green dentistry means practicing dentistry with procedures, technologies, and materials that do not harm the environment in any way. It can be done by conserving energy and water, by utilizing non-hazardous products, and of course, by handling waste with utmost caution.

One of the chief problems in several nations is the treatment of dental wastes since they pose a safety issue for nature and the general public. Well, the following write-up offers a couple of practical suggestions to alleviate waste production along with the impact it can create. Please check them out right now.

What Kind of Wastes do Dental Clinics Produce?

When promoting waste management as a virtue, you must be already aware of the kind of wastes a dental clinic usually produces. Most of the materials are dangerous; thus, they call for special disposal tactics. The biomedical waste includes:

  • Sharps
  • Blood soaked gauze and cotton pads
  • Lead and mercury foils
  • Used fixers, film developers, disinfectants, and cleaning solutions

The Four Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rethink

  • Reduce

Green dentistry aims at reducing wastes and pollution to the greatest extent. Besides the use of disposable items, the oral care practitioners must also reduce their dependence on products that contribute to air and water pollution. Try going paperless by storing office records in computers.

  • Reuse

The dentists must reuse the biodegradable products. By doing so, they will be saving a substantial amount of resources and energy necessary for manufacturing other brand-new equipment. The use of recycled, chlorine-free paper must be encouraged instead of the traditional ones.

  • Recycle

In order to recycle, you need to follow three steps. The first is to collect the materials that can be recycled. The second is to make something useful for the collected materials. The last is to sell them again. Researches have shown that most of the materials that are labeled as waste can be recycled and reprocessed into a new thing.

  • Rethink

Dentists must rethink about their approaches and try changing them as per the needs of the environment. Rethinking the protocols and practice can pave the way for new reuse, recycle, and reduce techniques.

High Tech Innovations

Just like products like Invisalign have very little waste, plenty other high-tech innovations aim to benefit the environment. For instance, computer-aided designs, which eradicates the need for impression material. It also decreases the number of appointments, thus, keeps excess carbon footprint at bay. More options are:

  • Digitized imaging
  • Steam sterilizers
  • Esthetic restorations
  • Oil-free compressors
  • Diode lasers

A fair share of dental professionals all across the globe agreed to leave no stone unturned when eliminating the harm their practice may inflict on the environment. They believe it is an ethical and moral obligation to maintain an eco-friendly setting towards the patients and other staff members. The students who are pursuing a career in the dental industry must be informed about the feasible ways of waste disposal.

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