Saving Smiles and the Environment: The Substantial Scope of Green Dentistry

Posted by SoCal Prime Dentistry 2023-12-14

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Dental practices generate significant amounts of waste each year, and many use non-sustainable materials and practices that contribute to environmental pollution. For instance, in the United States, dental practices generate 1.7 billion sterilization pouches and a total of 680 million chair barriers, light handle covers, and patient bibs. Other waste generated include mercury waste weighing 3.7 tons, 48 million lead foils, and 28 million liters of toxic X-ray fixers. In addition to harming the environment, these wastes can also pose health risks to dental professionals and their patients. Fortunately, green dentistry practices can help reduce these harmful impacts.

Green dentistry is an approach advocated by Dr. Mayank Sharma, our dentist in Seaside, CA, that aims to minimize the environmental impact of dental practices and improve patient health through various changes and renovations.

Detailed Methodology:

Green dentistry aims to reduce the environmental impact of dental practices through various recommendations and actions, including the 4 R's: Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. While some changes may require structural adjustments, many recommendations can be easily adopted by any dental practice.


The following actions can be taken by dental practices to reduce their environmental impact:

Dental practices can reduce their environmental impact by using LED lights with motion sensors, incorporating indoor plantations, using furniture made from recycled or reclaimed wood, and switching to eco-friendly office cleaning products made from natural and organic ingredients.


Dental practices can reduce their environmental impact by switching to virtual patient records, using sterilizable cassettes and glass syringes, using biodegradable disposable cups and cleaners, properly disposing of amalgam to avoid mercury pollution, using a dry dental vacuum system, and ordering supplies in bulk to reduce packaging waste and save money.

  • USE:

Dental practices can lessen their environmental impact by reusing materials and resources, such as using reusable glass syringes and cloth sterilization bags. Wearing cloth aprons instead of paper ones can also reduce waste and exposure to harmful chemicals. Switching to stainless steel impression trays and suction tips can also decrease waste and improve patient comfort.


Recycling is important and can significantly reduce environmental impact, but currently many items, such as water bottles, are not being properly recycled. Dental practices can take steps to recycle materials and reduce waste, including using recyclable and reusable materials and proper disposal services for sharps and paper waste. Staff breakroom waste should also be recycled.

In conclusion, green dentistry encourages eco-friendly practices in dental offices to promote sustainability, and it is the responsibility of dental professionals to implement them.

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