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|Green dentistry employs the latest technology to benefit patients and the environment.|
As consumers continue to become more educated about how to conduct business in a more environmentally-responsible manner, it’s no surprise that “green dentistry” is rapidly gaining popularity. Green dentistry is dental care focused on employing materials, procedures, and technology that are healthier for the environment. Many green dentistry practitioners also apply a more holistic approach to patient care and aim to provide cosmetic enhancements that look more natural.
Common benefits of green dentistry include:
Dental offices with an environmentally-responsible focus take great care to reduce the amount of waste generated by their practices. Many use energy-efficient washers and dryers to allow them to use cloth supplies like bibs, headrest covers, and gowns that they can wash and reuse rather than using disposable paper-based products. They also use biodegradable cleaners and steam sterilization techniques to cut down on the use of potentially toxic chemicals which could harm patients as well as the environment.
Digital X-rays are a significant innovation in dental technology and are essential to green dentistry practices. Not only do digital X-rays expose patients to up to 90% less radiation than traditional X-rays, but they also reduce the need for harmful developing chemicals and X-ray film. Plus, the images from digital X-rays are immediately viewable by the dentist and are of a higher image quality.
Green dentists use metal-free dental restorations (like porcelain veneers and crowns). Not only is this often safer for the patient, but new composite materials also look more natural than metal-based restorations. Metal-free cosmetic and restorative dentistry materials also cut down on heavy metal waste which may find its way to local water sources.
If you are interested in learning more about green dentistry, ask your dentist what steps he or she has taken to be more environmentally responsible.
Eco Dentistry Association, "About Green Dentistry."
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