10 min

Sustainable Dentistry: How To Reduce Your Footprint

Demand for environmentally friendly products and services is on the rise, and the United States is one of the countries that is leading the way. This increased demand for greener products and services is demonstrated by research that shows over a third of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable alternatives. The same study shows that in recent years, 85% of consumers have been making greener purchases. But how does this new demand for eco-friendly products and services impact dentistry?

The dental industry is a vast sector, and the North American dental market is the largest in the world. As such, there are huge opportunities for the dental industry to make a significant contribution toward sustainability and positively impact the environment. 

With consumers showing increased demand for sustainable products, ensuring your dental practice responds to this change and becomes greener is essential. By making changes to your dental practice, you can ensure that you are meeting the needs of your customers and listening to what matters to them. Increasing your focus on sustainability and introducing eco-friendly changes at your practice also helps to position your dental office at the forefront of the new trend toward sustainable dentistry.

While you may recognize that making your dental practice more environmentally friendly is crucial, knowing how to get started on making these changes can be challenging. Focusing on the four R’s of sustainable standards; reduce, reuse, recycle, and rethink is an excellent way to begin making positive changes towards a sustainable future at your dental practice. 

Read on to discover some of the sustainable dentistry initiatives you can introduce to reduce your footprint:


Reducing the amount of outgoing waste generated by your dental practice is essential when trying to become more sustainable. The good news is there are many ways that you can work on minimizing waste and ensuring that your dental clinic shrinks its environmental footprint. Here are some of the ways that you can reduce waste:

  • Reduce paper waste by changing to digital records. Using a software solution such as UptimeHealth makes switching from paper records to digital simple, helping you to minimize paper waste and increase productivity.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint by minimizing the amount of power your dental office uses. Switching off equipment when not in use and using energy-efficient lighting will cut your electricity consumption. According to the EPA, Energy Star lighting uses 70-90% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
  • Reduce or eliminate the use of aerosols as best you can and switch to greener alternatives wherever possible.


Disposable equipment may be quick and easy to use, but it is harmful to the environment. Changing to reusable equipment can help your dental practice significantly reduce the amount of waste it generates. Small changes, such as switching to stainless steel surgical and endodontic suction tips, are a great place to start. Removing all single-use items from your practice and introducing reusable alternatives will instantly aid your efforts to be more environmentally friendly.


Sometimes, using reusable equipment and supplies just isn’t possible. But that doesn’t mean that you need to abandon your attempts to go green. To maintain your efforts and continue being as environmentally friendly as possible, it is crucial to select products and equipment that can be recycled. 

If you need to use disposable products, checking that they can be recycled is essential. To maximize the amount of waste you recycle, it is crucial to segregate the recycling according to type and recycle as instructed.


Staying up-to-date with environmental news and sustainable initiatives is an excellent way to change your thinking and make your dental practice greener. Technology is evolving at a fast rate, and research into environmental issues is constantly taking place. Paying attention to these developments enables you to continually rethink how your dental practice operates and respond proactively with updated green initiatives.

Rethinking how your clinic uses materials and ensuring that they are being utilized in a way that minimizes waste is vital. Following the user instructions carefully should help you ensure that you are maximizing your materials and avoiding excess waste.

Introducing a new focus on sustainable dentistry to your practice is an excellent way to show your customers you take your environmental responsibilities seriously. Making informed choices when it comes to buying supplies and equipment can make a significant difference to your clinic’s ecological footprint. Introducing new technology and software, such as UptimeHealth, to minimize paper waste will also help put your practice at the forefront of sustainable dentistry. 

Further reading