Having been a member of the Eco-Dentistry Association for the last two years I have officially begun the process of becoming the first dental office in Canada to be certified with this group.
In my personal efforts to reduce waste and prevent pollution, it became necessary to consider my work environment. Then, when my own health issues caused me to consider the overall effects of the toxicity of the office I was in I decided it was time to get out and create what I needed for my own health and well-being, as well as the planet’s.
What makes me different?
Firstly, there is no dentist! So…. there are not the typical sights, sounds and smells of a traditional dental office. Many people still don’t know that they now have a choice as to who can provide their preventive oral health care services.
Secondly, wherever possible, I have used environmentally-friendly, sustainable materials and practices. The office itself has reclaimed wooden floors and some of my furniture has been made from old, hand-hewn barn beams. I have used paints that have no VOC’s and the office is bathed in natural light allowing a reduction in the use of artificial lighting. All disinfection products are environmentally friendly and biodegradable and disposables are kept to a minimum by my extra efforts to use re-cycle able materials that I personally sterilize in my autoclave.
One of the most important areas of concern for me was the reduction in water usage. I do not have a cuspidor, that little white bowl that one typically spits into. Not only is it un-hygienic but it wastes an inordinate amount of water. Instead I use a funnel-shaped attachment on my high-volume suction and when people have to rinse and spit it is into this. Additionally, the actual machine that creates the suction does not require water to operate it.
A typical vacuum system in most dental offices requires 35 gallons of water just to operate it!
I also support the “Save 90 a Day” campaign initiated by the Eco Dentistry Association. Did you know that you can save 90 glasses of water a day just by turning off the water when you brush your teeth?
Much of what I am trying to do involves re-thinking the typical ways we have been doing in the field of dentistry. Granted, some things take more time and effort but in the long run it is better for my health, my clients and the planet.
In closing, please remember “EARTH HOUR” this Saturday and do your part to raise awareness and support the global initiative to make a difference! http://www.earthhour.org/tools/banners/Banners.aspx
In the meantime, I’d love to get your feedback. Did you know that you have a choice as to who can provide your preventive oral health care services? Here on my blog, you will get commentluv. For all bloggers out there, when you leave feedback, you can leave a link back to your own blog site. But you don’t have to be a blogger to leave a comment. I want to hear from everyone!