Sustainability in Dentistry

The FDI Vision 2030 document calls for urgent action on oral health as one of the most prevalent diseases worldwide. These diseases are largely preventable and/or treatable in the early stages. 

Improvements in oral health and well-being can be gained through prevention, screening and monitoring of systemic health conditions in environmentally friendly practices. Dentistry must be practiced ethically, with high levels of quality and safety and appropriate use of healthcare resources – including time, materials, workforce, and equipment. Sustainability integrates a broader commitment of the oral health professional to social and environmental responsibility. The right of future generations to a world with adequate natural resources must be respected1.

This Sustainability in Dentistry project, supported by the FDI Policy Statement on Sustainability in Dentistry, demonstrates that the provision of high-quality dental care with a focus on prevention of oral diseases is at the core of how to ensure an environmentally sustainable practice. This resource is designed to interweave with the many other FDI projects that have been developed to guide oral health professionals and dental organizations.  

Efforts to reduce the pollution impact of dentistry on the environment must focus on a strategy of reduction alongside any recycling and reusing capabilities when possible. A reduction of carbon footprint is achieved through the provision of optimal health care, by reducing the number of dental appointments people need and reducing the consumption of dental materials. Thus, optimal oral health care has two distinct outcomes: good oral health care outcomes and a reduced environmental impact.

This infographic identifies four domains in the delivery of oral health care:

  • Preventive care
  • Operative care
  • Integrated care
  • Ownership of care

With careful observance and engagement with each of these four domains of dental practice, it is possible to provide effective, high-quality, and environmentally sustainable oral health care.  This is a team effort that involves the whole dental care team and the patients they serve.

FDI is committed to raising awareness among its membership of the need to ‘think green.’ Many dentists are already making sustainability a high priority by using more environmentally friendly dental supplies and equipment, or by making structural, energy-efficient changes to their clinics. FDI can help by sharing these success stories to help build awareness in other countries and offices that are only beginning their sustainability journey.” – Dr James Zenk, DDS, chair of the FDI Dental Practice Committee.

Project goals

Increase awareness of the need to implement sustainable actions in the dental community. 

To develop a guide for oral health professionals to identify actions that can lead to environmentally sustainable outcomes 

To conduct a review of the current literature and identify the current research and guidelines and to identify any gaps in the literature regarding sustainability in dentistry. 






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