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EDITORIAL
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 121

Dentistry and climate change: How can dentists contribute?


Department of Restorative Dentistry, Riyadh Elm University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Date of Submission08-Nov-2021
Date of Decision10-Nov-2021
Date of Acceptance10-Nov-2021
Date of Web Publication30-Dec-2021

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Abdullah R AlShammery
Department of Restorative Dentistry, Riyadh Elm University, P.O. Box: 84891, Riyadh 11681
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/sjoralsci.sjoralsci_58_21

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How to cite this article:
AlShammery AR. Dentistry and climate change: How can dentists contribute?. Saudi J Oral Sci 2021;8:121

How to cite this URL:
AlShammery AR. Dentistry and climate change: How can dentists contribute?. Saudi J Oral Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 May 26];8:121. Available from: https://www.saudijos.org/text.asp?2021/8/3/121/333551



Environmental pollution, climate change, and global warming have been widely discussed topics today. Every individual directly or indirectly contributes to environmental pollution every day and thus to the global rise in temperature. Dental practice is not an exception. The waste materials produced as a part of dental practice can also pollute the environment. One of the main sources of dentistry-induced environmental pollution is from heavy metallic wastes from amalgam, silver, and lead, biomedical wastes, and general office wastes along with the excess use of water and electricity. In this context, the concept of eco-friendly dental practice was evolved, focusing on environmentally amicable dental practice.[1]

Despite the many benefits offered by the eco-friendly approach, one of the main hurdles is the unawareness among the profession itself. To switch from conventional and established dental practice to the concept, design and implementation of green dentistry to promote eco-friendly dentistry is time consuming process with cost implications. What we can do? Creating awareness among the fellow dentists, ensuring the implementation, and promotion of eco-friendly dental practice through the use of recycled products; reduced number of appointments for treatment to prevent commute-related air pollution, limited use of water or use of dry vacuum systems, complete digital radiography, limited use of amalgam or if not achievable, at least proper handling and its disposal, conservation of energy with the use of latest techniques, and reduction in wastes and pollution are some of the measures to stand up to achieve this goal.[1]

It is worth mentioning about the recent Saudi Green initiative, Youth Green Summit, and the Middle East Green Initiative conducted in Riyadh from October 23, 2021, to October 25, 2021, which was the launch of the contribution of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia toward protecting our environment, energy transformation, and programs for sustainability toward a green future.[2] Furthermore, programs such as “Green Impact Dentistry,” launched in the UK, recognized by UNESCO, provide audit elements and awards designed in particular for dentistry to promote sustainable dental practices with access to Green Impact Dentistry toolkit for eco-friendly practice.[3] As rightly quoted by Tom Ziglar, “Change starts with you, but it doesn't start until you do.” Together let us contribute to slow down and reverse the climate change.



 
  References Top

1.
Hiltz M. The environmental impact of dentistry. J Can Dent Assoc 2007;73:59-62.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Saudi Green Initiative; 2021. Available from: https://www.saudigreeninitiative.org/. [Last accessed on 2021 Nov 04].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Green Impact; 2020. Available from: https://www.greenimpact.org.uk/dentists. [Last accessed on 2021 Nov 04].  Back to cited text no. 3
    




 

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