Ever ponder the green credentials of your dentist while getting your teeth scraped until they bleed? No? Regardless, dentists around the world will soon be able to show off their sustainability savvy with the new GreenDOC Dental Office Certification Program, sponsored by the Eco-Dentistry Association.
According to the EDA, a green-certified dental practice has to meet eight qualifications:
- Sustainable Location, which pertains to
the building housing the dental practice. Considerations include
whether the site is a certified green building and its proximity to
- Waste Reduction in all activities associated with a dental practice from business operations to dental materials and processes.
- Pollution Prevention,
which includes consideration of indoor air quality, sterilization
methods, green cleaning and disinfecting of surface and equipment lines
as well as front and back office practices.
- Energy Conservation in office and operatory-room lighting, equipment, HVAC and amenities.
- Water Conservation
in dental processes, fixtures throughout the dental practice and
outdoors if the office include external property and landscaping.
- Patient Care, Workplace Policies and Community Collaboration.
The latter includes participating in public education and public
service projects related to green dentistry, as well as general efforts
to enhance the community in which the practice is located.
So far, only two dental practices have been certified: Pure Dental in Dallas, Texas and ORA Dental Studio in Chicago. Both of the practices have some impressive qualifications. Pure Dental, for example, features low-radiation x-rays and metal-free orthodontics, while ORA Dental Chicago is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council.
Judging by the popularity of the Eco-Dentistry Association (500 members strong!), we will probably see more certified green dentists pop up in the coming months. In the meantime, consider greening your own dental care with a biodegradable toothbrush.