The words green and going green may have recently made Lake Superior State University’s 2009 List of Banished Words, but the concept they represent isn’t losing its importance.
Like many other industries across the nation, the dental practices have to do its part to go green and adopt more environmentally friendly practices wherever possible.
One of the first changes in a dental office has to be the conversion from traditional X-ray to digital tooth imaging technology. this switch is healthier for patients and the environment. Additionally Digital X-ray imagery is stored on computers, which helps the office continue in its efforts toward a paperless office.
It is not easy at this point to become completely paperless, but we have to make a great strides to reduce the amount of paper we go through on a daily basis.
The environmentally friendly push also extends to treatment options for patients, particularly mercury-free options.
Nowadays metal free and in many cases plastic free dentistry are becoming important. many times, patients will replace their old silver fillings very thoughtfully and carefully, but they put no thought into the materials chosen to replace them.
Many dentists offer white resin fillings that will break down and stain quickly. sometimes these resin fillings break or stain sooner than metal fillings when they face biting and occlusal forces and foods that stain such as coffee, tea and berries.
Many patients are not aware that the same porcelain made for veneers that achieve cosmetic and aesthetic improvements can replace the old fillings and build back or restore tooth structure to its natural beauty and health.
In fact, bonded porcelain is what veneers are, but they can also be used to build back portions of a tooth.
Many times, a filling can’t be placed in an old filling that is breaking down and the doctor feels only a full coverage crown can restore the tooth. But that is not always the case with bonded porcelain. a cosmetic dentist can be conservative and preserve many good parts of the tooth structure and just replace the structural parts that are bad.
Porcelain is metal free and the most natural of the filling materials out there. It is glass, and glass is sand, conditioned under high temperatures and pressures to take the shape we want.