The concept of a dentist having to operate with a view towards protecting the environment is at least a decade old, but for many dental practices that concept is still a relatively new one. That is not because they do not care or are in any way against protecting the environment.
Instead, it is partly due to the fact that many of the specific dental processes that have been identified as having some of the most significant negative impacts on the environment are what you might be considered standard dental procedures.
Just two of the prime examples for Maddington Dentists clearchoicedental.com.au include x-rays for identification of issues within teeth and gums and the filling of tooth cavities. Both of these use materials such as mercury and x-ray fixers that are toxic, and yet they are used in abundance throughout the world of dentistry.
To assist medical professionals, including dentists, better understand some of the ways they could improve their green credentials a simple concept called the four ‘R’s was introduced. These four ‘R’s are four words that go to the heart of how not just dentists, but basically any individual or business, can reduce the harm which they do to the environment.
The ‘R’ words are, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rethink. They are given in that specific order, which often surprises people who assume that recycle would the first but reduce and reuse actually can play a bigger role in decreasing waste.
Whilst you probably have some understanding of each of the words, we shall go through each of them with a bit more of an explanation as they relate to how they can guide a dental practice towards protecting the environment.