AN INTERVIEW BY JACKIE COOPER FOR SCHEIN CHATS
Jackie Cooper AMEA, manager and leader of Henry Schein sustainability initiative, Practice Green, and I chat about sustainability in dentistry.
And here's a very short summary of all we discussed:
Jackie: How does sustainability benefit the patient?
Greener Dentistry: A sustainable practice will have a focus on prevention. And, of course, not needing to do treatment benefits the patients in terms of cost. But also, we're aso looking after the biology. Additionally, if we do need to do an intervention, it's always minimally invasive. The advantage is that in the long term, the patient will likely need less and less intervention going forward. And so there's a reduction in terms of patient costs, and also environmental costs. Other ways that patients would benefit is that a sustainable practice will also look at the chemicals or disinfectants, etc., that they use. And so, a sustainable practice will tend to use products that aren't harmful to human beings or other ecosystems.
Jackie: How do you and your team incorporate sustainability into your practice?
Greener Dentistry: At my dental practice, I have a Sustainability Champ. And she takes care of all things sustainable inside the practice. So the whole team can feed her any ideas they have. As a practice, the environment is always on the agenda. So team members always bring something into the practice meeting, be it how much electricity or energy we've used or someone's come up with a great idea. And then from there, we've got an ethos, a culture of pro-environmentalism. And that helps as a practice constantly move forwards with anything that will reduce our impact on the environment.
Jackie: What is the first step a dentist should take in their eco-friendly journey, in your opinion?
Greener Dentistry: The first step is to appoint someone as a Sustainability Champ who oversees all things sustainable inside the practice. And the whole team can feed her any ideas they have. As a practice, the environment should always be on the agenda, and team members should always bring something into the practice meeting. From there, the practice can develop an ethos, a culture of pro-environmentalism, which will help it constantly move forwards with anything that will reduce its impact on the environment.