One national agency estimates that advances in dental research save Americans more than $4 billion a year. Dentistry today has the most sophisticated, high-tech equipment ever available, allowing the dentist to treat and diagnose with remarkable precision. Such technology also vastly reduces, and in some cases eliminates, much of the pain and discomfort for you. Some of the more exciting advances coming out in dental research include new genetic therapies, tissue repair methods and improved materials that are biocompatible. By reducing waste and pollution on the front end, there is less to deal with on the back end. If you’ve converted to digital imaging, you’ve set up the foundation for a high-tech green dental practice and you don’t have to deal with the disposal of lead foils and toxic X-ray fixer from conventional X-rays. While most dentists delegate waste compliance to a team member, many don’t realize that the dentist remains personally responsible for proper hazardous waste disposal through the life cycle of that waste. The best way to eliminate liability for toxic waste is to not create it in the first place.
Here’s a look at some of the newer technologies:
- Air abrasion – Uses powerful particles of aluminum oxide to remove debris and decay. The most exciting thing for patients is air abrasion is quite painless and in some cases, doesn’t require an anesthetic.
- Digital imaging – Allows almost instantaneous views of images inside the patients’ mouth. Examples include intra-oral cameras, extra-oral digital cameras (images from outside the mouth looking in), and digital X-rays on a PC screen.
- Digital radiography – like traditional X-rays, digital radiography allows your dentist to easily spot deep tooth problems such as bone loss, deep decay and root canals.
- Lasers – Lasers may one day replace drills, with more precision and less pain. Some teeth whitening, gum, and decay removal therapies employ the use of lasers today.
A Future without Drills and Fillings?
Some health experts believe that a future without drills and fillings is not that far off. From regenerated teeth using your own DNA, to such futuristic techniques called “bio solutions” that treat disease on a molecular level, incredible advances are being explored every day. For example, bacteria that cause decay may one day be able to be modified before they cause damage.
Green Dentistry is High Tech Dentistry
Green dentistry is a high-tech approach that reduces the environmental impact of dental practices and encompasses a service model for dentistry that supports and maintains wellness. Green dentistry meets the needs of millions of wellness lifestyle patients, and helps dental professionals protect planetary and community health, as well as the financial health of their practices. Together, green dental practices, green dental patients and companies offering green dental products are transforming the dental industry through adoption of the EDA’s green dentistry model.
High-tech innovations are key to helping dental professionals achieve their targets for waste reduction and resource conservation. Many high-tech cosmetic practices see a boost in new patients and practice success when they recognize the eco-friendly value of their high-tech investments. For tips to transition your high-tech cosmetic practice to a green wellness lifestyle practice, check out the GreenDOC Checklist of Standardsfor green dental offices.
More High-Tech, Eco-Friendly, Wellness-Based Dental Technologies:
- Oral Detoxification with Laser Hygiene Technologies
- Salivary Diagnostics for Periodontal Disease
- LED-Operatory Lighting
- Digital Oral Cancer Screening
- Digital Impressions
- Digital Patient Charting
- On-site Biomedical Waste Disposal Systems