More and more these days, people want the organizations they do business with to share their values. Many are concerned about taking care of the environment and it makes a difference when their favorite businesses show they also care. Here are our top 10 tips for how your dental practice can produce less waste.
Patients will especially notice the practices that directly affect them and that can start a conversation that leads to more client loyalty.
- Lighting uses up a lot of energy. Reduce yours with a dimmer system which provides only as much light as needed, depending on the natural light in the office. You can also install motion detectors and timers to reduce the amount of time rooms are fully lit with no one in them.
- Use steam sterilization instead of using chemicals.
- Single-use products are a huge source of trash for dental offices. Switch to stainless steel impression trays and suction tips. Using reusable glass irrigation syringes and cloth sterilization bags and patient barriers also reduces waste.
- Have your staff only use disposable, plastic or paper barriers when they are absolutely necessary.
- Change to a central vacuum that does not use water and has an amalgam trap.
- Ask your supply companies to combine your orders and make the fewest trips possible. This also reduces the number of boxes you end up with. Then re-use those boxes.
- Consider reusable plastic for aligners. One company out of the UK that is getting FDA approval is called K Line Europe. They reshape the aligners to be used 3 times vs. using new plastic for three different aligners.
- Use products made of recycled materials, but beware: companies have started labeling products “recyclable,” which does not mean the same thing as “recycled.” “Recyclable” only means the item can be recycled.
- Of course, recycle as much paper, aluminum and plastic as possible with recycling bins. There are even medical shredding services that recycle the shredded paper.
- Go paperless! One of the most effective ways to cut down on waste is to go virtual. Patient management software allows you to bill patients and communicate with them, plus do charting, without printing a single page.
Remote apps like In Hand Dental let you send reminders and other information, plus they allow you to check on patients without them coming into the office. Remote dentistry saves on disposables, resources, energy and staff attention because you cut down on chair time. It’s one of the most effective ways for a dental office to reduce its energy use and waste products!
Making these changes shows your patients that your dental practice is serious about reducing its carbon footprint and waste, and that will make a difference to them. When it comes up in conversation, you might even remind them that oral hygiene is good for the environment because good dental health means less need for procedures. Dental procedures not only require disposable products but some also use toxic chemicals. It’s a point they won’t be able to ignore and it will emphasize that your office really shares their values.
Want to learn more about how the In Hand Dental app can help save you time and money? Go to our Contact Page and set up a time to book a free demo today!