Green Dentistry: Current Insights and a Concrete Contribution from GC
The global movement to address climate change has sparked a rise in eco-consciousness and the adoption of "green" initiatives in various industries. One notable example is the concept of green dentistry, which strives to promote environmentally friendly practices and objectives. But is green dentistry merely a marketing buzzword, or is it a legitimate trend? Through a systematic literature review, we aim to explore existing research on this topic and shed light on how dental practices are incorporating green dentistry principles.
Finally, we will highlight how GC, as one of the main dental materials manufacturers in the USA, is contributing to green dentistry by showcasing GC glass hybrid's unique eco-friendly capsule.
Green dentistry also known as “sustainable dentistry” or “eco-friendly dentistry” is an attempt to address challenges related to CO2 emissions, plastic usage, waste generation, and other environmental impacts which are prevalent throughout the dental supply chain and care delivery processes.
Environmentally conscious dental professionals are seeking alternatives to reduce the environmental impact of their practices, while delivering high-quality treatment to their patients. On the other hand, manufacturers respond to this trend by offering innovative products and services which can contribute to reducing waste, preserving energy and decreasing pollution.
Through a systematic literature review using Pubmed and Google Scholar, several trends in green dentistry were identified:
- Green dentistry is recognized as a money and time-saving approach.
- Waste management is still primarily reliant on incineration, but new techniques are emerging.
- Renewable and eco-friendly materials, such as diverse nanomaterials and rice-husk composites, are gaining attention.
- Barriers to eco-sustainability include infrastructure, institutional, educational, and individual factors, with challenges like insufficient waste disposal systems and high volumes of single-use plastics.
- Promotion of eco-sustainability involves management tools, artificial intelligence, and reducing dental-related travel by patients and staff.
Studies indicate that dentists and dental students initially showed low interest in green dentistry, but more recent research suggests a more positive attitude. Dentists' product choices are often influenced by practical considerations rather than abstract idealistic motives. Factors influencing their adoption of sustainable dental products include:
A sample of dental practice websites showed how dentists promote their practice through green dentistry. Common methods include advertising adherence to eco-friendly principles, pledging contribution to a healthier, non-polluted world, and implementing specific measures related to green dentistry. Some of these measures include pollution reduction through the use of non-toxic materials, digital applications for record-keeping and waste reduction, steam sterilization methods, biodegradable disinfectants, green office building materials, waste recycling, and other environmentally friendly practices.
GC is committed to maintain and improve a healthy environment by creating environmentally friendly products, promoting resource and energy conservation, and reducing waste, as reflected in our Environmental Policy.
One example is our Unique eco-friendly design of the GC glass ionomer and glass hybrid capsules maintains the product’s quality while preserving the environment. With 25% lower amount of plastic than the competition, GC capsules contribute to reduce the amount of CO2 emission and empower dentists to contribute to green dentistry.
EQUIA Forte® and EQUIA Forte® HT, the glass hybrids from GC, present an environmentally conscious option for dentists. Their unique eco-friendly capsule helps to reduce waste and energy consumption when utilized as the restorative material of choice.
With 25% lower amount of plastic than the competition, EQUIA Forte® and EQUIA Forte® HT capsule contributes to reduce the amount of CO2 emission, while preserving the outstanding quality of the product. Moreover, the overall waste generated by this capsule is much lower compared to similar products.
Dental Advisor has recently published a report1 on the capsule mass and amount of wasted material of several direct restorative materials. Results of this report indicate that GC’s glass hybrids capsule has less total mass than the other products tested, while wasting the least amount of packaging per gram of usable restorative, making it the most efficient packaging design.
The cost-effectiveness of glass hybrids has been intensively evaluated in several independent, long-term randomized clinical trials. Results have proven that, while performing similarly as resin composite, glass hybrid restorations required shorter procedure time and less interventions over the years. These attributes not only make glass hybrid materials cost-effective but also have the potential to reduce energy and water consumption, while at the same time minimizing waste generation.
It is well-known that dentistry is an energy and resource intensive industry consequently contributing to high environmental impact. GC is committed to maintain and improve a healthy environment by creating environmentally friendly products, promoting resource and energy conservation, and reducing waste, as reflected in our Environmental Policy. Through our eco-friendly products such as GC glass hybrids we aim to empower our customers to practice green dentistry.