2019 is seeing a general push towards more sustainable practices in dentistry.
In particular, eco-friendly dental clinics are being celebrated for their commitment to assisting the healthcare industry in reducing its environmental impact. So how can your dental practice step forward towards a greener future?
Maintain your equipment
The correct maintenance of your dental equipment is essential to its long lifespan. Maintaining your equipment on a daily basis ensures that it works efficiently and safely, and does not break down. This is why staff training in sterilisation, processing and general maintenance is critical for your dental practice. In 2019, NSK is encouraging dental clinics to make sure that their staff are aware of equipment maintenance procedures by offering free training in this area to select teams. By caring for your dental equipment, you are increasing its shelf life, saving money and minimising waste.
Recycle your handpieces
When essential dental equipment like handpieces reaches the end of their working life, buying new handpieces is inevitable. But components of your old handpiece can be recycled and made into something new. NSK’s 2019 handpiece promotion involves trading in your old handpieces for recycling so that you can receive 30% off a new NSK handpiece. Handpieces are made from many intricate parts that can be reused and recycled to reduce waste!
Choose instruments that minimise consumption
When purchasing new dental equipment, it’s important to consider not only its functionality and price but also the sustainability of its design. For example, the W&H Assistina Twin incorporates leading technology in handpiece oiling and maintenance and also minimises oil consumption and packaging. Each Assistina TWIN care set can process nearly 3000 instruments before it requires replacing, and contains the equivalent of 20 (400ML) oil cans. The W&H Assistina Twin is just one example of how new dental equipment is being designed with environmentally conscious principals in mind. Investing in sustainable dental equipment will not only reduce your practice’s carbon footprint but will more than likely also end up being much more cost-efficient in the long run.
Stock biodegradable paper cups
All dental clinics will utilise disposable paper or plastic cups for patients so that they may rinse their mouths with water or mouthwash after procedures. Something as simple as moving to biodegradable or compostable disposable cups can dramatically reduce your practice’s environmental footprint. Many people do not realise that most disposable cups that appear to be made from paper actually have a plastic lining which cannot be recycled or easily broken down in a landfill. Look out for cups that are marked recyclable, biodegradable or compostable and dispose of them correctly to minimise waste.
Move patient communication and marketing online
It’s time to get on board with the paperless practice phenomena. This may mean a big systems overhaul in your dental clinic, but it can significantly reduce space and waste. Sending patient reminders via text message or email is both convenient and more sustainable. It also positions your practice as one that isn’t stuck in the past and attracts a younger demographic of (hopefully!) long-term patients. Taking the same paperless approach to marketing can extend your exposure beyond your immediate vicinity, and draw in patients from outlying suburbs. Ditch the flyers and take to social media instead to really hone in on your target market using analytics and demographic studies – it’s easier and far more affordable than you may think!