Sustainable Dentistry

This foundation course explains how dentistry contributes to climate change and ecological degradation, and helps dental care professionals and support staff in primary and secondary care to apply sustainable practices in their work. It offers an overview of the relationship between dentistry, health, and the climate and ecological crises. How are dentistry and healthcare both vulnerable to and contributing to climate change and ecological degradation? What would sustainable dentistry look like? What might the wider benefits be and how can we achieve this? The course also highlights the leadership role dental staff can play in providing care for all within planetary boundaries. 

Please select one date:

  • Workshop: Thursday 18 July 2024 [9.00-13.00 BST]
    • Self-study period opens: 20 June

If you have booked on a course click here for access.

Pricing structure: £100 - £250 + VAT

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Course description

The practice of healthcare contributes significantly to the international carbon footprint and the collapse in biological diversity, both of which undermine human health. Dentistry contributes through the products we buy, the waste we produce, and the way patients access our services. 

The course is intended as an overview of the field for dental care staff at any level who are new to sustainable healthcare. The training will help you to understand why sustainability matters, then help you to ‘green’ your dental practice using case studies from dentistry and offering tips and tricks for implementing sustainability improvements. The foundation courses also lay the groundwork for developing your skills further in the technical courses.

Sustainable dentistry delivers high quality care without damaging the environment, is affordable now and in the future and delivers positive social impact. The practice of dentistry consumes enormous quantities of materials, energy, chemicals and water, and produces vast amounts of waste, much of it toxic. A more efficient and sustainable system would not use resources in a way that adversely affects the health of the population or prevent tomorrow's dental professionals from providing care. Sustainable dentistry can also make a significant contribution to the carbon reductions required by the Paris Agreement, the NHS net zero commitments and the wider UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  1. Describe the risks the global environmental crisis presents to human health and healthcare systems.
  2. Describe the contribution of the health sector, particularly dentistry, to the global environmental crisis. 
  3. Understand the basic principles of climate literacy.
  4. Understand how sustainability can help to address existing challenges in the healthcare system.
  5. Apply the principles of sustainability to dentistry.
  6. Plan a project to improve the sustainability of healthcare in your workplace.

Course Structure

Part I.  Self-study online

Prepare for the workshop at your convenience using our interactive online self-study module, presented in bite-sized chunks. You will need about 4-6 hours to complete the self-study materials which cover all course content including background, theory and case studies, with links to further information depending on your level of interest. Discussion points throughout the module allow you to reflect on your learning and start to get to know fellow participants and their areas of interest and work.  At the end of the module, you are invited to sketch out a plan for a sustainability project you might want to undertake, in preparation for the workshop discussions. The self-study module opens 3 weeks before, and remains available to you for 4 weeks after, the workshop. You can see a table of contents for the self study materials here.

Very interesting read - gave me a realistic idea of the effects we, as humans, are having on the planet and how everything is interlinked

Part II.  Live workshop online

The 4 hour virtual workshop consolidates your understanding of the course materials. Small group discussions with CSH experts and colleagues from around the world allow further exploration of topics that interest you and tips on how to translate your ideas into action. The timetable includes pre-session technical assistance and networking, followed by a review of the self-study material with Q&A. In breakout groups you will then share your ideas for a sustainability intervention in your setting and make plans to address it, using the range of resources, tools and methods developed by CSH and partners.

Seeing the broad range of ideas from peers shows how sustainability can be approached from different angles

Access to knowledgeable and approachable individuals who are clearly passionate about the topic.

Part III.  Mentoring

After completing the self-study materials and online workshop you are invited to attend our online Sustainable Healthcare Cafés. The one hour cafes occur regularly throughout the year and  offer ongoing support for you to put your learning in to practice. They are a friendly, informal setting in which to:

  • Get support for sustainability projects from peers and CSH staff
  • Make connections with others bringing sustainability projects into their workplace

You are welcome to continue attending the cafes as many times as you wish. Upcoming dates are available here and will also be emailed out to you with your certificate of completion after the workshop. 

Pricing Structure

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Book a course with peace of mind: We realise that healthcare workers may have to change their plans at short notice. If you are unable to attend a workshop, we can offer you a workshop at a later date for no charge. We can also offer a refund as long as you cancel before the course opens for self-study, which is 4 weeks before the workshop. There will be an admin fee of £30 for refunds.

Courses are facilitated by experts drawn from the faculty below:

Dr Hayley Pinto, Education and Training Lead

Hayley Pinto is a consultant addiction psychiatrist who leads our Net Zero Leadership training and sustainable healthcare courses. Hayley has a degree in psychology and completed general practice training before pursuing a career in psychiatry. She has 30 years’ clinical and teaching experience in the NHS and publicly funded services and is a member of Health for XR, Psych Declares and a speak for Greenpeace UK.

Nuala Hampson, Pharmacy Lead and Senior Educator

Nuala Hampson is a pharmacist and educator. She sets strategy for sustainable pharmacy initiatives and facilitates the Net Zero Leadership training and sustainable healthcare courses. Nuala has over 20 years’ experience of clinical pharmacy in primary care and over 15 years’ experience in postgraduate pharmacy education. She is a member of Pharmacy Declares, a group of climate-conscious pharmacy professionals in the UK and joint lead of the Greener Primary Care Pharmacy Association. She co-chairs the national Sustainability in Pharmacy Education group.

Tracy Doole

Tracy has worked in dentistry for over 15 years, initially as a dental nurse then qualified as a dental hygienist from Queens, Belfast in 2011 and has a post graduate qualification in prescribing radiographs. She is the council representative for the BSDHT Northern Ireland regional group (providing bi-annual scientific conferences) and recently been elected to the BSDHT Executive Board. Tracy is the clinical representative in Ireland for Young Innovations (delivering innovative, high-quality oral care products and solutions) and volunteers in her community to promote oral health. She is passionate about high quality dental care, reducing barriers to oral health care and sustainability - at home and work.

Riaz Usmani

Senior Dental Officer Riaz is a Senior Dental Officer working for Defence Primary Healthcare. He graduated from the University of Dundee in 2002 and holds an MSc from the University of Bristol. He has previously deployed on overseas operations and expeditions and has seen first-hand the effects of climate change. He is keen to promote sustainable practices wherever he can, most recently within healthcare and school setting.

JennJennifer Luca

Jenn received her DMD from Harvard School of Dental Medicine and graduated with a certificate in paediatric dentistry from Ohio State University. She now practices in metro-Atlanta. Her research evaluates the carbon footprint associated with paediatric dental care and aims to inform policies to increase preventative measures and decrease the carbon footprint of dentistry.