Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
Everyone is familiar with the three big R’s reduce, re-use, and recycle but many don’t give much thought to the order in which we follow them. It’s common to think recycling as the first solution to handling our trash, but Reducing and Re-using are actually much more effective.
Dr. Mark Davenport’s practice is always considering the environment in decisions about the office products, supplies and equipment, by choosing eco-friendly and environmentally sound options. Dr Davenports practice uses energy-efficient fluorescent lights. Digital patient communication such as e-mail confirmations, electronic dental claim submissions and predetermination to insurance companies and electronic referrals to specialists all allows us to use much less paper. Steam sterilization is used in our sterile bay to eliminate the use of chemicals for health and environmental reasons. We follow the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) guidelines, and use hand sanitizers. When washing hands staff will use a hands free faucet. To prevent mercury water pollution we operate using an amalgam separator.
Going digital has many benefits such as; reduction in harmful chemicals, Ammonium Thiocyanate and Boric anhydride. These chemicals are known to be skin, eye and respiratory tract irritants, and hazardous if ingested or inhaled. They also may be toxic to the blood, thyroid, kidneys and liver, and repeated or prolonged exposure can produce target organ damage. Going digital reduces the amount of lead and silver that are released into the environment and kept in the topsoil for as long as 200 years. Patients are exposed to approximately 90% less radiation with digital radiography. Digital x-rays show better diagnostic detail for problems to be detected at an earlier stage and easy to transfer to specialist thought our paperless interchange.
Modern restorations consist of less heavy metal waste. Eco-dentistry embraces today’s adhesive, metal-free dental restorations such as; direct composite bonding, porcelain veneers, and crowns. These metal free restorations serve two purposes; first, they provide metal-free esthetic smile treatments. Secondly, they help eliminate the heavy metal waste associated with silver amalgam fillings that could end up in the main water supply.
A Suction system, also known as a dental vacuum systems are a critical piece of machinery for any dental office. Unfortunately, they use a tremendous amount of water. It’s estimated that a typical dental office uses as much as 57,000 gallons of water per year, with the average vacuum system using 360 gallons of water a day that amounts to 9 billion gallons of water a year. With the world facing a serious water crisis, we shouldn’t be pouring this precious resource down the drain. Our dental practice has chosen to install an efficient dental evacuation system, which does not require water to produce vacuum. Our office saves 200,000 gallons or more of freshwater every year.
Rainforest are being cut down at the rate of 100 acres per min, let’s do what we can to minimize our carbon footprint one dental visit at a time.