Sunday, August 15, 2010

Forget whitening...let's green our smiles!

I've been trying to be environmentally respectful for a while now, but last January, inspired by a class at Yankee Dental Congress, I joined the Eco Dental Association (EDA) which can be interwebbed at

Since then, I've worked to try to bring my practice onto a level where I can not only feel I'm doing some good for environmental sustainability, but as a business strategy I can stake out a niche as "the green dentist," a label I've perhaps even shied away from since joining the Seacoast Green Alliance (

So I'm finally putting together a brochure which will highlight some of my green initiatives, in the hopes of first advertising to existing and new patients what we're all about when we SAY "green dentistry" and secondly, challenging people to possibly suggest new things we could do which perhaps we've not even thought of!

Here's what I've got so far for the brochure:

Green Initiatives

Dentists often say, "You only have to care for the teeth you want to keep!" By 12 years old, the baby teeth are usually all gone, and we have to work to maintain these valuable little white appendages. Similarly, we only have one planet, so anything we can do to preserve the environment is a step in the right direction. While it's impossible to eliminate all waste, here's some things Dr Swanson and his team do to shrink our "footprint" on the Earth:

Digital X-rays - Eliminates plastic, lead and hazardous developing chemicals of traditional x-rays.

Electronic Patient Records - Reduce paper use, increase efficiency of communication with other providers.

Biodegradable seat covers and cups - Reduce CO2 production and break down in landfills.

Preserve brand toothbrushes - made from recycled Stoneyfield yogurt cups and recyclable as plastic "lumber" for benches, playground equipment, etc

Instruments and equipment - Use of reusables which are safe to sterilize in our autoclaves instead of disposables.

Email and text message appointment reminders; electronic claims, bills, band statements - reduce paper

Use of local dental laboratories - reduce packaging and fuel needs as well as supporting or New Hampshire neighbors.

Nearby bus stop - allows patients to use public transportation

Amalgam separator - prevents mercury from escaping into the environment

Office Recycling - reduction of landfill "trash" by separating out plastics, paper, aluminum and glass


So any suggestions? :)