How Discerning Dentists Are Going Green

In a typical dental office, there are dozens of hazardous chemicals and volatile organic compounds used every day for x-rays, sterilization, treating infection, and even fillings. However, many dentists are trying to save the planet along with your smile.

Eco-friendly dentistry is a relatively new movement, but things are starting to change, thanks to alternative materials, techniques and procedures that reduce output of resources and dependence on toxic chemicals.

So how do you know if your dentist is going green? Here's a checklist.

? Steam sterilization: Your dentist's instruments can be effectively sterilized with steam and pressure instead of chemicals.

? Recycling: One of the most effective ways for dentists to reduce their carbon footprint is by simply recycling instead of throwing away recyclable materials.

? Eco-savvy design: Your dentist can choose to implement green options like low-voltage halogen lights and automatic hand dryers.

? Digital records: Storing patient records electronically reduces depend on paper goods.

? Eco-friendly whitening: Instead of using technologies that contain UV energy, some dentists favor in-office bleaching that utilizes a plasma-emitting light to whiten teeth.