FDI, as the principal representative body for more than one million dentists worldwide, is currently developing guidelines on how to run an environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and successful dental practice.
Dr James Zenk, committee chair of FDI Dental Practice and leader of FDI’s Sustainability in Dentistry project, reinforces how important green dentistry is to FDI and believes the organisation’s commitment to sustainability can help dentists achieve it in their daily work too.
He commented, “Many countries are leading the way in [terms of green dentistry] and many dentists are making sustainability a high priority by using more environmentally-friendly dental supplies and equipment, cleaning products, or making structural, energy efficient changes to their clinics. FDI can help by sharing these success stories to help build awareness in other countries and offices that are only beginning their sustainability journey.”
FDI’s new infographic on sustainability in dentistry highlights the environmental impact of dentistry as well as the ways in which these impacts can be reduced, for the health of the patient, the practitioner, and the practice.
The Sustainability in Dentistry project aims to show how good oral health benefits not only to patients and dental practices, but also the environment.
Steps to take today for a more sustainable dental practice tomorrow
Sustainability in dentistry is multifaceted and involves many stakeholders who all have a role to play, including national governments, scientists, educators, manufacturers, distributors, dental equipment technicians, waste collectors and processors1.
Maintaining good oral health and providing quality care can often reduce costly interventions and result in more sustainable outcomes. In dental practices, appropriate waste management, such as reducing medical waste, paper use, water consumption or changing to alternative (electronic) methods of record keeping and using durable equipment also impact carbon emissions and wider sustainability2. Patient and supplier education are equally important for sustainable and cost-effective methods of consumption and production3.
1 FDI World Dental Federation. Sustainability in Dentistry. Available from: https://www.fdiworlddental.org/resources/policy-statements-and-resolutions/sustainability-in-dentistry [Accessed 16 October 2020].
2 Duane B, Swan J, Ramasubbu D, et al. Environmental sustainability and waste within the dental practice. British Dental Journal. 2019;226(8): 611-618.
3 Duane B, Stancliffe R, Miller FA, et al. Sustainability in Dentistry: A Multifaceted Approach Needed. Journal of Dental Research. 2020;99(9): 998–1003.