19th May 2022 @7pm
Biofilm & Dental Unit Waterlines, Manage, Monitor, Maintain
Jenny Nixon
Sponsored by Dentisan


24th May 2022 @7pm
10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Digital Dentistry
Les Jones & Marcos White
Sponsored by Practice Plan


8th June 2022 @7pm
Biomimetic Restorations Simplified
Hussein Patanwala
Sponsored by GC


15th June 2022 @7pm
Senior Radiation Protection Adviser & Medical Physics Expert
Neil Pick
Sponsored by DD


Article: Volume 48 Number 6 Page 493 - June 2021

Prev    Article P493    Next  Read article

  Dental Update 490: 493-501

Sustainability/Oral Health:  Sustainable oral healthcare and the environment: challenges

CPD:  CPD  0:48   (closed)      Self assess

Feedback:  0 comments, 0 ratings


Abstract: Oral healthcare has an environmental impact that is specific to the profession and is currently unsustainable. This impact results in unwanted and difficult-to-manage waste, carbon emissions and other environmental impacts that contribute to climate change. Contributions to this pollution come from the supply chain that provides the required materials and sundries, patient and staff commuting/ travelling, direct patient care, the use and end-of-life management of restorative materials and single-use plastics (SUPs) such as personal protective equipment (PPE). This article explores these various contributors to pollution arising from oral healthcare.

Clinical relevance: The provision of oral healthcare has an environmental impact that requires consideration and action in order to become sustainable.

Author notes: Steven Mulligan, BSc(Hons), BDS, MJDF RCS (Eng), Clinical Teacher, Doctoral Clinical Fellow, General Dental Practitioner, School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield. Lucy Smith, BEng (Hons), PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield. Nicolas Martin, BDS, PhD, PgCertEd, MFDSRCS, FDSRCS, Professor of Restorative Dentistry, School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield. email:

Objective: To understand the ways that professional activities can impact the environment and highlight ways to deliver sustainable practice in the workplace.