You’ve probably noticed that green is everywhere these days – in the news, politics, fashion, technology, and now, even your dental practice!
With energy and fuel costs rising across the country, Triangle Family Dentistry is committed to incorporating an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient practice.
Here’s how we are going green:
High Efficiency HVAC
When all systems are working properly, HVAC accounts for a whopping 53% of energy use in a typical office building. Multiple zones allows for more efficient use of heating and cooling by controlling only those areas that need greater regulation, such as western windows in the afternoon. The efficiency of an HVAC system is measured by its SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating. This rating is based on the number of BTUs used for cooling during the hot months divided by the total electric energy unput in watt-hours during the same season.As of January 2006, all new air conditioners in the US must have a minimum SEER rating of 13. Our office boasts a high SEER rating HVAC system at 19. A SEER rating of 18 is 38% more efficient than the standard system with a SEER rating of 13.
No VOC Paint
Indoor air is three times more polluted than outdoor air, and according to the EPA, is considered one of the top five hazards to human health. Paints and finishes are among the leading causes. Paints and finishes release low level toxic emissions into the air for years after application. The source of these toxins s a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s ). By utilizing no VOC paints are beneficial to our health while reducing landfill, groundwater and ozone depleting contaminants.
The flooring chosen for our office (Stratica by Amtico) has superior wear resistance, esthetics while being environmental friendly. Stratica contains no chlorine and no plasticizers (non-PVC). It offers outstanding indoor air quality with no detectable VOC emissions and the adhesive used is in the lowest VOC category (EC1). Stratica requires no dressings or sealers and is maintained with only neutral cleaners i.e. doesn’t require cleaning with caustic chemical, thus minimizing the environmental impact. Amico International is the first company in it’s field to be awarded the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certification and it makes the Stratica product from 20% post industrial material.
Tinting reduces the UV rays and heat during the summer which in turn reduces the cooling requirements. In the winter, the film reflect the internal heat back into the building again reducing energy required to heat the building. Furthermore, UV can damage furniture and flooring materials, so blocking it prolongs the life space of said materials, thus keeping them out of the landfills, etc.
The use of wood cabinets, doors and trim reduce the environmental impact because the are produced from renewable resources.
The development of digital radiography has impacted dentistry in many ways. Digital images provide instant viewing capability; facilitate guest treatment procedures; increase diagnostic proficiency; and streamline storage, transfer, and retrieval of data. One of the greatest benefits of digital systems is the reduction in radiation exposure to the guest by 75% to 90%. By integrating digital radiography into our practice, the need for lead film as well as the noxious photochemical wastes needed to develop the film can be eliminated, thus reducing the the environmental impact.
The use of our practice management software eliminates paper waste by almost 100%. We don’t keep paper charts, we don’t have paper forms for check in or guest registration. The only paper we do use is to print a receipt or a prescription. Digitizing guest charts, billing, and radiography not only increases efficiency of the practice and quality of guest care, but also eliminates over 90% of the paper use associated with daily normal practices. Going paperless saves paper, money, time, and trees!
Oilless Compressor are clean and reduce the carbon foot print by not using copious amounts of oil. Dry Vacuum System are 100% water free.
The mercury content in amalgam has been an ongoing concern for the environment.
Currently, there are minimal regulations in place for dental practices in terms of amalgam disposal. Amalgam separators can be placed on delivery systems and help reduce the amalgam content in dental office wastewater discharge. Amalgam separators are designed to remove waste amalgam from the water collected by the vacuum system before being discharged to municipal sewer systems. Our office employs such a system, thus keeping the water supply clean.
Furthermore, we do not use amalgam as a filling material, further reducing the environmental impact.
Recycle and Reuse Policy
The shipping containers made from cardboard are recycled and all papers are shredded and recycled; office letterheads and business cards are made from recycled paper; our practice works with and purchases from dental manufactures who have recycling programs, e.g. Hu-Friedy Envirodent instrument recycling program.
Also, our Fuquay-Varina office is now a pickup point for used dental containers (used toothpaste tubes, caps, used toothbrushes, empty floss containers, etc) that are recycled into park benches, trash cans, and more.