Earth day is April 22 and marks the anniversary of the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Each year this day represents the opportunity to reflect on how we can better serve our environment and reduce our impact. For our practice, environmental stewardship and sustainability is something we consider as part of our daily operations. There are several ways we strive to reduce our eco-footprint and in many cases this improves efficiency for patients as well.
Do you remember the shelves of colorful, alphabetized files in your dentist’s office? Our practice utilizes a dental software that allows us to electronically store all patient files and perform paperless charting. All information is securely stored on our servers and protected in accordance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines. This not only eliminates paper waste, but it also makes it easy to send over records to specialists when needed via email. We also offer text message reminders for patients providing a quick and easy alternative to reminder postcards that create additional paper waste.
Focus on Natural Light
When designing our space, Dr. McCauley worked with our contractor to remove low ceilings to let in natural light from the windows that span the front of our office. This allows us to minimize the need for additional lighting and helps us to reduce our electricity use. Additionally, each treatment room features one wall of windows allowing patients to enjoy natural light (and hopefully sunshine) during their appointment.
CEREC Same-Day Crowns
We are proud to offer our patients same-day crowns through the technology of our CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) machine. The CEREC machine works like a 3D printer and allows us to mill the crown in-office while you wait. The milled porcelain used by the CEREC machine, in addition to being more accurate, is actually far less energy-intensive than conventional lab work. It is also earth-friendly as it prevents lab material from ending up in landfills. Additionally, this technology eliminates the need for multiple appointments and saves our patients time which in turn reduces carbon emissions.
Our x-rays and intraoral camera capture digital images that provide superior imaging with less radiation exposure. These files are also stored electronically in our patient files saving time and reducing waste materials from traditional x-ray development. Digital x-rays also allow us to adjust the contrast of images to detect bone loss and cavities.
Recycling and Compost Program
We also work to reduce our landfill contributions by participating in both a recycling and compost program. Many dental products need to be shipped and we strive to combine shipments and recycle to cut down on cardboard waste.
We hope these small changes add up to a large benefit for our planet. Let us know what changes you’ve made to reduce your impact or how you are celebrating Earth Day this year!
Dr. Amanda McCauley, DDS