Green & Mercury-Free Dentistry
Over the last five years, Dental Designs by Quandt has instituted various action plans to make our office more eco-friendly. With so much public awareness about the environment recently, we would love to share with you how we are going green.
- We have replaced incandescent lights with florescent lighting, which is five times more efficient.
- We have fully integrated comprehensive practice management software, which stores all of our patient records. This means no more wasting paper in order to produce paper charts and records.
- We have electronic signature pads in all of our rooms so we will no longer be using any paper forms. All you have to do is sign the pad.
- All of our computers, faxes, copy machines, and printers are Energy Star rated, meaning they run cooler and save on energy.
- We recycle all paper, cardboard, plastic, and glass, and we use recycled/remanufactured ink for our printers.
- We have digital radiography, which means no more film processing with harsh chemicals. It also uses less radiation than a traditional x-ray system.
- We have a CAD/CAM milling machine which reduces material use, as well as fuel consumption by both the lab and patient.
- We use less water with our motion sensor sprays used to disinfect our hands.
- We use biodegradable, non-toxic cleaners.
- We consolidate our supply orders to save packaging and fuel consumption.
- We use an autoclave cassette system rather than paper and plastic bags for most instrument sterilization.
- We launder our own garments.
- We use an oil free air compressor and oil free vacuum system.
- Our office is mercury-free
Most importantly, we do not place any mercury-based amalgam fillings in our patients’ mouths. We have an amalgam/mercury separator in our vacuum system which filters out the discharge of the harmful element mercury from the filling material that we remove from patients’ teeth.
The discharge of mercury filling material into a municipal sewage system has been implicated in contributing to elevated levels of mercury in our lakes and rivers. Dental offices nationwide, it has been estimated, have contributed 40-50% of the mercury found in waste water. Several countries have banned dental mercury based fillings for this reason.
In addition, the FDA has become more involved in addressing health concerns stemming from these mercury-silver fillings in people’s mouths and has reclassified the material. All mercury-based filling material is now classified as hazardous waste by the EPA when it is removed from a person’s teeth. Any scrap must be disposed of in a hazardous waste container.
The bigger question is why would anybody choose a mercury-based filling to be placed in their mouth after knowing these facts? Addition information can be found at http://epa.gov/guide/dental/ and http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8513.html.
If you have any questions about green dentistry or mercury-free dentistry, don’t hesitate to call us. We’re happy to share information about our technology and procedures.