Organization urges dentists to make 2010 the year to "Go Green, Save Green!"

Dec. 15, 2009
Eco-Dentistry Association£ indicates green dental practices can boost bottom line by as much as $50,000 a year.

BERKELEY, California--The Eco-Dentistry Association£, an international association of dental professionals who use eco-friendly methods, has urged dental professionals to make 2010 the year they go green and save green!

According to the organization, incorporating earth-friendly methods are not only good for the planet but can boost the bottom line of a dental practice by as much as $50,000 a year.

Since its international launch in spring 2009, the EDA has enrolled hundreds of members in 42 states and 11 countries. In addition, many dental companies have recently introduced green dental innovations, from LED operatory lights that use less energy to operate and provide tooth shade-matching to impression trays made of compostable material.

Dental professionals can differentiate themselves by going green, helping attract values-based consumers who seek service providers who share their environmental and wellness values.

Even small changes like switching from chemical sterilization processes to steam yield operating can produce a savings of $828 a year. Making the switch to digital imaging, including the initial costs of the equipment investment, yields more than $8,700 in yearly supply and other savings.

Here are more examples of how going green can boost a practice's bottom line, along with potential savings for each:

* Reusable cups instead of paper cups--$178
* Cloth operatory and sterilization methods instead of disposables--$2,337
* Energy-efficient lighting instead of incandescent lighting--$601
* Reusable metal instead of plastic suction tips--$170

The EDA offers dental professionals tips on reducing waste and pollution and conserving resources, such as setting photocopiers to make double-sided copies, proper disposal of mercury-containing dental waste, and planet-friendly building and office methods. This includes using nontoxic paint and electronic patient communications.

The EDA provides the public with information about digital X-ray systems that reduce radiation exposure by up to 90%, as well as dental appliances that are free from the hormone-disrupting chemical, bisphenol-A, found in many plastics.

In addition, the EDA offers questions to ask dentists about environmental stewardship. The association's Web site also allows eco-conscious consumers to search for eco-friendly dental professionals in their respective area.

The EDA's members are representative of the dental profession and include general and specialist dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, dental labs, and office managers.

More information can be found at Eco-Dentisty Association.

To read more about the EDA, go to Eco-Dentisty Association.

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