The eco-friendly movement is taking the world by storm. Increasingly, consumers expect every industry to step up to the plate and fulfill their demands for environmentally responsible products and practices. Dentistry is no exception; eco-friendly dentists are growing in number, and so are the patients who seek them out.
But what is eco-friendly dentistry, exactly? Eco-friendly dentistry, also called green dentistry or sustainable dentistry, aims to reduce the environmental impact of dental services while adhering to regular standards of care and treatment. The key elements of a sustainable dental practice can be broken down into three Rs with which most of us are already familiar:
- Reduce. As with many industries that utilize office buildings, there is a growing movement to reduce paper waste in dental offices in an effort to be more eco-friendly. This typically involves going digital by converting paper files, medical histories, and other documents into an online or cloud-based system.
- Reuse. Dental work requires a large amount of developing liquids like amalgam, which is often used in dental restorations (most commonly cavity fillings). These liquids can contaminate the water supply if not disposed of properly. Today’s eco-friendly dentists install special separators that trap amalgam before it enters the sewage system, making it available for collection and reuse.
- Recycle. There are many materials used in dental offices that can be recycled, such as paper, cardboard, aluminum, and plastics. In addition, practices that want to be greener may opt to purchase biodegradable products, which enable “waste” to be recycled into the environment.
Because so much of dentistry necessitates the usage of single-use items, biodegradable supplies are a fantastic option for the eco-friendly dentist, as long as they are safe, hygienic, and from a reputable manufacturer. Biodegradable products are decomposed by bacteria and other organisms. They break down quickly without harming the environment.
Cotton is among the most popular biodegradable materials, and we use it all the time in our single-use dental staples. Richmond Dental’s biodegradable cotton options include:
- Richmond Braided Cotton Rolls®
- Econo Rolls
- Cotton Pellets
- Cotton-Filled Exodontia Sponges
- 100% Cotton Nonwoven Sponges
- All Gauze Sponges
- Cotton Tipped Applicators
Cotton is a highly sustainable crop that can survive on rainwater and relatively few pesticides. That’s what makes cotton such a good choice for dentists looking to make their practices more sustainable: It’s an all-around eco-friendly material with negligible effects on the environment, from farming to production to disposal. Rapid advancement in sustainable cotton farming is only making this truer each year, as organic options come into the marketplace.
We’re proud to use quality cotton in all of our made in the USA products, reducing the environmental impact even further. For sustainably sourced, biodegradable cotton products that maximize protection of dentists and their patients, you can’t beat Richmond Dental and Medical.