Discuss the environmental impact of dental travel – how to move from the current COVID-19 crisis to a more sustainable future within dentistry?

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Br Dent J. 2022 Apr;232(7):437-440. doi: 10.1038/s41415-022-4136-7. Published online April 8, 2022.

ABSTRACT

Dentistry is an energy- and resource-intensive field and therefore has a significant environmental impact. In 2013-2014, total greenhouse gas emissions from NHS dental services in England measured 675 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, of which 64.5% was related to travel, 19% to supply and 15 .3% to energy consumption. There is currently an absence of comprehensive standards or guidelines for sustainable dentistry. Instead, sustainable initiatives have been small-scale and are voluntarily adopted by groups or professionals as an ethical duty or a practical requirement. However, a recent study has shown that dental teams seem to be increasingly interested in how to become more sustainable. This opinion piece focuses on how the dental profession can ensure a sustainable recovery as England emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, with a focus on improving environmental sustainability linked to travel within within the dental care system. Reducing dental travel can include changing modes of transportation, combining family appointments, scheduling dental checkups appropriately, preventive dentistry, and using information technology.

PMID:35396418 | DOI:10.1038/s41415-022-4136-7

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