Sustainability in Dentistry

The FDI Vision 2030 document calls for urgent action on oral health as one of the most prevalent diseases worldwide. These diseases are largely preventable and/or treatable in the early stages. 

Improvements in oral health and well-being can be gained through prevention, screening and monitoring of systemic health conditions in environmentally friendly practices. Dentistry must be practiced ethically, with high levels of quality and safety and appropriate use of healthcare resources – including time, materials, workforce, and equipment. Sustainability integrates a broader commitment of the oral health professional to social and environmental responsibility. The right of future generations to a world with adequate natural resources must be respected.

This Sustainability in Dentistry project, supported by the FDI Policy Statement on Sustainability in Dentistry, demonstrates that the provision of high-quality dental care with a focus on prevention of oral diseases is at the core of how to ensure an environmentally sustainable practice. This resource is designed to interweave with the many other FDI projects that have been developed to guide oral health professionals and dental organizations. Efforts to reduce the pollution impact of dentistry on the environment must focus on a strategy of reduction alongside any recycling and reusing capabilities when possible. A reduction of carbon footprint is achieved through the provision of optimal health care, by reducing the number of dental appointments people need and reducing the consumption of dental materials. Thus, optimal oral health care has two distinct outcomes: good oral health care outcomes and a reduced environmental impact.

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Sustainable Dentistry

The following infographic identifies four domains in the delivery of oral health care:

1. Preventive care 
2. Operative care
3. integrated care
4. Ownership of care

With careful observance and engagement with each of these four domains of dental practice, it is possible to provide effective, high-quality, and environmentally sustainable oral health care.  This is a team effort that involves the whole dental care team and the patients they serve. FDI is committed to raising awareness among its membership of the need to ‘think green.’ Many dentists are already making sustainability a high priority by using more environmentally friendly dental supplies and equipment, or by making structural, energy-efficient changes to their clinics. FDI can help by sharing these success stories to help build awareness in other countries and offices that are only beginning their sustainability journey.” – Dr James Zenk, DDS, chair of the FDI Dental Practice Committee.

Project goals

Goal 1

Increase awareness of the need to implement sustainable actions in the dental community. 

Goal 2

To develop a guide for oral health professionals to identify actions that can lead to environmentally sustainable outcomes 

Goal 3

To conduct a review of the current literature and identify the current research and guidelines and to identify any gaps in the literature regarding sustainability in dentistry.

International Dental Journal supporting commentary

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IDJ

Environmental Sustainability Through Good-Quality Oral Healthcare

The promotion, provision and maintenance of good oral health is core to our professional activities
The promotion, provision and maintenance of good oral health is core to our professional activities
The promotion, provision and maintenance of good oral health is core to our professional activities
The promotion, provision and maintenance of good oral health is core to our professional activities
  • Healthy mouths
    fewer appointments
  • Reduced materials,
    therefore reduced costs
  • Professional
    satisfaction
  • Improved patient
    quality of life
  • Better clinical
    outcomes
  • Durable care
The promotion, provision and maintenance of good oral health is core to our professional activities
The promotion, provision and maintenance of good oral health is core to our professional activities

Sustainability in Dentistry Task Team

The Sustainability in Dentistry Task Team provides guidance and scientific expertise to ensure sound implementation of the Sustainability in Dentistry project, which aims to map out strategies and implement solutions to help reduce the environmental impact of dentistry and the dental industry.

CHAIR
Prof. Nicolas Martin
United Kingdom
MEMBER
Dr James Zenk
United States of America
MEMBER
Sep 2021 - Sep 2022
Dr Duygu Ilhan
Turkey
MEMBER
Dr Steven Mulligan
United Kingdom

Resources

  • Sustainable Oral Healthcare and the Environment: Challenges
    Sustainability
    Sustainable Oral Healthcare and the Environment: Challenges
    Journal article
  • Sustainable Oral Healthcare and the Environment: Mitigation Strategies
    Sustainability
    Sustainable Oral Healthcare and the Environment: Mitigation Strategies
    Journal article
  • Preview
    Sustainability
    Awareness and barriers to sustainability in dentistry: A scoping review
    Journal article
  • Preview
    Sustainability
    Drivers, opportunities and best practice for sustainability in dentistry: A scoping review
    Journal article
  • Sustainability in dentistry
    Sustainable Dentistry infographic
    Infographic
  • Maintaining Good Oral Health
    Maintaining Good Oral Health Infographic
    Infographic

The Sustainability in Dentistry project is supported by our Founding Partners:

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Colgate
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P&G
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Dentsply
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Tepe
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GSK

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

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Quotes from our Founding Partners

Why did they commit?