go green in your dentistry

The Demand for Green Dentistry is Coming, Whether You are Ready or Not

 

I know, it seems an unlikely headline but just look what is going on right now. More and more businesses are shouting their green credentials, faux or otherwise. Plastic is now a real issue not just for all of our futures but in the consciousness of the population, consumers and your patients.

I am hearing real stories from clients that patients are turning their noses up at the sight of those innocent looking little plastic interdental brushes. This is just the start, people are starting to hold businesses to account and patients are asking questions.

What they are really testing are your values, the real conscience of your dental business and it’s worth being prepared. Consumers are going out of their way to spend their money with businesses that are like them and to that extent nothing has changed. However it seems like we have reached a tipping point where there are enough ‘plastic and unnecessary waste aware’ consumers, that ignoring them is a risky strategy in any business. The forward thinking business is not ignoring them.

Be wary that Dentistry is always an easy target for the media, they love a nasty dentist story and let’s face it, through both imposed regulation and lack of alternatives, trying to be a ‘green dental practice’ isn’t going to be easy. But then again neither is being an energy supplier, reducing Co2 in the supply chain, less packaging in supermarkets or even switching to paper straws, but it’s happening. Whether we will see ‘dentists are ruining the planet’ headlines or not I don’t know, but we already have the gentle breeze of the perfect storm; dentists and plastic.

Some in Dentistry will dismiss this as hypothesis and wait until their hand is forced (think supermarkets and plastic bags). Others will see this as an opportunity to implement a time honoured successful strategy for any business, to give your customers what they want.

As Sir William Osler said, “listen to you patients and they shall give you the diagnosis”. Patients are diagnosing the values they want their dentist to share with them and it’s time to listen.