Sustainable Dentistry How-to Guide: Equipment and Supplies

The manufacture and distribution of any object has an environmental impact, requiring input of raw materials and energy, often accompanied by release of pollutants to air, land and water as well as changes to land use and biodiversity. These impacts are often not visible to us at the point of use, whether of paper, plastic packaging, instruments or dental restoration materials. However, for the NHS in England, for example, supply chain emissions make up 57% of the total carbon footprint.

Dental teams can influence the environmental impact of their equipment and supplies by reviewing routine practices to ensure that items are only used when they are really necessary, looking for environmentally friendly alternatives and by engaging with suppliers to develop more sustainable practices.

In this section… How to: