How Dentistry Is Evolving Towards Sustainability

In an era where environmental consciousness is gaining momentum, sustainability has transcended into various sectors. Dentistry, traditionally perceived as a field that primarily focuses on oral health, is beginning to evolve towards sustainability. 

The realisation of the environmental impact of dental practices has given rise to significant changes within the industry. With new and innovative practices and products being introduced regularly, dentistry is not slowing down with the standards society and the government are setting, aiming to contribute to the goal of 2030 emissions reduction targets. 

In this article, we will explore the various ways in which dentistry is becoming more sustainable:

Dentistry Evolving Sustainability

Reduced Waste Generation

One of the most prominent changes in the dental industry is the emphasis on waste reduction. Historically, dental clinics—even your local Milton Keynes dentist—have contributed to substantial amounts of plastic waste, from single-use tools to packaging materials. 

However, sustainable dentistry promotes the use of recyclable or biodegradable materials to reduce and remove any unfriendly and harsh plastics from the environment. Many other practices include opting for digital records to minimise paper use and adopting eco-friendly sterilisation techniques to reduce the use of single-use tools. 

Techniques could include a radical vapour reactor (RVR), which has a high concentration of oxygen species that sterilises bacteria. This innovative technique reduces hazardous waste. High-energy techniques such as autoclaving or ethylene oxide gas also waste a lot of these professional’s time. 

Green Dental Products

Most professionals believe the solution to most problems begins with manufacturing, so they have dedicated their time to creating an eco-friendly alternative to traditional materials that work just as well. 

For example, toothbrushes made from sustainable materials, biodegradable dental floss, and even recyclable or reusable packaging are becoming more commonplace. Additionally, more dental restorative materials are being developed with a focus on their environmental impacts.

Energy Efficiency

Dental clinics have started to implement energy-efficient technologies. These include LED lighting, energy-efficient appliances, and better insulation. 

Additionally, some clinics are incorporating renewable energy sources like solar panels to reduce their carbon footprint and dependence on non-renewable energy sources. This will hopefully be adopted by all clinics aiming for 2030. 

Water Conservation

Water is a vital resource in dental procedures. Sustainable dentistry encourages water-saving practices, such as using waterless dental units and capturing, filtering and reusing water when feasible. 

These measures contribute to the reduction of excessive water consumption in dental treatments. 

Minimising Chemical Waste

Traditional dental practices often involve the use of various chemicals, which can be hazardous if not managed properly. Not all clinics use these new innovative techniques, such as RVR but instead reduce various chemicals according to the guidelines set by the government.

Sustainable dentistry promotes the safe disposal of these chemicals and encourages the use of environmentally friendly, non-toxic alternatives. 

Education and Awareness

Sustainability in dentistry is not only practised within clinics but also involves educating both dental professionals and patients. 

If patients are educated on the practices and measures, the local dentist in Milton Keynes or Soihul doesn’t implement these actions of sustainability, which may cause them to switch practices and make more sustainable choices in their oral healthcare.

Dental schools are including sustainability in their curricula, ensuring the future generation of dentists is environmentally conscious of the impact of their work. Not only that but it gives them the knowledge and tools to further evolve, pushing for complete sustainability.

Reusable Instruments

While single-use instruments, as mentioned above, have been the norm for many years, a growing trend and the development of new and innovative instruments are being developed that are becoming increasingly sustainable. 

For example, autoclavable tools are becoming more common as they reduce the waste generated by disposable instruments.

Artificial Intelligence

AI has significantly changed the clinical approach to dentistry. It has great potential and has brought many positives for both patients and professionals. From education to assisting diagnosis, aiding dentistry’s evolution into sustainability.

It has the power to aid with methods to reduce water usage, energy and carbon emissions and waste. At the click of a button, it can take in all the data and give you a solution that allows this professional to be more efficient and eco-friendly.


Sustainability in dentistry is not a passing trend; it is a necessity in a world focused on protecting the environment. Dental professionals, manufacturers and patients are increasingly recognising their role in creating a more sustainable future for the industry. 

As dentistry continues to evolve towards sustainability, we can expect to see more eco-friendly practices, products and technologies that not only prioritise oral health but also contribute to a greener and cleaner planet. By embracing these changes, the dental industry is making a positive impact on the environment and improving the overall health of our planet.

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