Webinar to discuss sustainability in dentistry

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Webinar to discuss sustainability in dentistry

According to Haryana, sustainability entails so much more than recycling and protecting the environment. (Image: Sanjay Haryana and elenawolf/Shutterstock)
Dental Tribune International

Dental Tribune International

Tue. 14. April 2020


Sustainable development and the three pillars of sustainability are often mentioned in the media, but what do these terms actually mean, and how can the dental profession move towards a more environmentally friendly mindset and approach? In an upcoming webinar on Tuesday, 28 April, Dr Sanjay Haryana will answer these questions. Speaking to Dental Tribune International, Haryana provided a sneak peek into what webinar viewers can expect from the online seminar.

Dr Haryana, the protection of the environment and, inevitably, our future concerns everyone and certainly should be considered in the dental office, where single-use items, among other things, produce a great deal of waste. Do you think that dentists and the dental industry are ready to make the necessary changes needed in order to move in a greener direction?
I absolutely think the dental industry is ready to go greener, but we need to be aware that the dental and medical fields will and should move slowly. We are responsible for the patient’s safety, and we must deliver a certain standard and quality of treatment. I believe that we can start to work in the settings around the treatment and sterilisation rooms. What can we do front-of-house? We could go paperless by emailing patient treatment plans and reuse or recycle items, as long as this doesn’t impair infection control and quality of care.

More sustainable options often cost more (for example, plastic versus bamboo brushes) and require more effort (for example, disposable instruments versus autoclavable options). What other factors can you identify that might hold dentists back from reducing their carbon footprint?
I think it is the fear of the unknown. Keep in mind that dentistry is stressful, and for many clinicians, the trial-and-error approach is too time-consuming. Why change something that works? Another reason is that sustainability is a complicated subject, and we get mixed messages in general. A renewable option doesn’t mean it has a low carbon footprint; bamboo versus plastic is a complex issue and bamboo is often not a suitable material for use in dentistry. Also, autoclavable options are not always better than disposable ones. So, why change when there are no clear answers?

What are the three main learning objectives for the viewers who will be watching your webinar?
After the webinar, viewers should have a basic understanding of how to evaluate the so-called facts easily, both with an open mind and using critical thinking. They will realise that change is often a mental process and that not everyone is on the same level of thinking or has the same priorities. The webinar will provide viewers with tips, advice and inspiration to take back to their workplaces in order to help them to start a green action plan for their patients and practices.

Editorial note: The 1-hour webinar by Haryana, titled “Sustainable development and dental care. A Swedish approach and why you should take the first step today”, will be presented live on Tuesday, 28 April, at 6 p.m. CEST. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about the topic, as well as earn a continuing education credit by answering a questionnaire after the lecture. Registration on the DirectaDentalGroup education platform is free of charge.

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