Problems and solutions for Ramadan oral health care
19th March 2022
During Ramadan, oral health benefits from special attention. In this article, dentist explains the changes that can occur in the… read more
There’s a reason the medical and dental industry uses plastic. A wide range of synthetic polymers have revolutionised standards of hygiene and safety. They have facilitated the delivery of all kinds of treatments, from covering a scratch to performing an organ transplant. Of course, there are other natural materials too, like metals and glass which have been used for millennia and still play an important role. But, without synthetic polymers, health care would not be delivering the safe efficient treatments we have today. So yes, it is hard to see how infection control in a dental surgery would function without plastics. Yet we shouldn’t just wait until modern research can come up with new materials that will protect the environment as well as the patient. There are some steps we can take to help reduce unnecessary single-use plastics in dental care.
We are very aware how over the last year, because of the pandemic, our use of plastics has increased as we have donned more PPE to keep patients and staff safe. Waste disposal is taken very seriously and staff receive training to separate and process different types of waste.
Dental surgeries maintain strict hygiene standards. Any item that is reused, whether plastic or metal, must be made safe to prevent cross-infection. Fortunately, many of the tools we use can withstand the essential, rigorous decontamination processes between patients so they can be reused. Patients coming to the surgery do not witness the cleaning, wiping and re-covering of surfaces between each appointment, or the systematic cleansing of equipment in the decontamination area.
Yet there are numerous items designated as single use which need to be disposed of. Moreover, the packaging of products relies on single-use plastics. Cellophane and plastic protect items from contamination. And the liquids we use have to be contained.
Yet there must be ways dental practices can work towards decreasing consumption of single-use plastics. At a recent staff meeting, SpaDental Plymouth discussed areas where single-use plastics can be replaced by more eco-friendly products without, of course, compromising patient safety during dental care. Suggestions include: using paper cups, cardboard suction tubes and cotton buds made with bamboo stems. Small steps, we know, but definitely heading in the right direction.
We’ve all been throwing out our toothpaste tubes and old manual toothbrushes in the home recycling waste. Yet recycling is not a solution for the mountains of waste that are accumulating.
Discussion, research and innovation is bringing more eco-friendly products onto the market. The increasing use of bamboo is particularly exciting, as it’s a renewable source with anti-bacterial properties. Moreover, plastic manufacturers are also beginning to include additives to their products that help plastics to break down, although biodegradation is still far too slow to help sea-life now.
In response to patient requests, you can now buy more eco-friendly products at SpaDental Plymouth for home use. There’s toothpaste, dental floss, tongue cleaners, interdental brushes and toothbrushes thoughtfully produced to lessen their environmental impact.
I wondered exactly that. As bamboo toothbrush handles still have nylon bristles attached, how does that work? Well, for now nylon is still the best material for safe, hygienic bristles. Not many of us would want to use the natural alternative of badger hair.
When you need to change your toothbrush, either put the old bamboo handle in your garden compost heap or add it to your commercial compostable waste bin. Before you can do that though, there’s the bristles to deal with. The Humble Co has a website clearly outlining their ideals and their vision for sustainability and long-termism. They manufacture their brushes so that the bristles can be pulled out with pliers for domestic recycling. No-one said it was easy, but steps like this keep us on track.
David Attenborough – just a few miles away from SpaDental Glastonbury at the Glastonbury Festival in Pilton. He didn’t even need to say very much, but at 93 he was there on the pyramid stage. We’ve grown up with him showing us the world’s natural wonders. In Blue Planet 2 he showed us how he has seen the seas, oceans and coastlines of our planet change. We know our throw away culture should not continue.
"Better than you could ever imagine - As always everyone involved with Spadental treats you with respect and dignity. Happy to have a friendly chat and always seem genuinely interested. I always leave the practice feeling happy- which might seem strange after just having dental treatment but that's the affect all the team always seem to have on me. Arranged a follow up appointment the very next day, as a cancellation had just come in.…More Testimonials
"Lovely staff - I have been with you for 17 years and I am still coming to you. Every one is so helpful and always talks to you." LE Thank you for your reviews The staff at SpaDental Chard feel proud to read your reviews. Your lovely comments, and your good opinion mean a lot to us. We appreciate the time and thought you put into writing about how your visit to the dentist went.…More Testimonials
It hasn't been an easy year, but our patients have been so understanding. Thank you all so very much for your kind support and the lovely feedback we've received. Your kind support is very motivating It means a lot to the SpaDental Chard team to read your feedback. Your feedback is important to us as it helps us work on continual improvement of our services. Our sincere thanks to all of you have taken the…More Testimonials
We've been catching up with our patients to find out how their treatment has been over the last months. This has been such a hard year for many of us, personally and professionally, and access to dental care has been affected in many ways by the pandemic. We'd really like to take this opportunity, therefore, to thank you for your understanding. We know that you have had to cope with cancellations and changes to our…More Testimonials
With the ups and downs of the last year, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of our patients for your support and understanding. Your thoughtfulness is reflected in the considerate comments we've received in response to our request for feedback. We truly appreciate your kind thoughts. Thank you from all of us for your lovely reviews of SpaDental Tewkesbury. A selection of your reviews: "The service during the last few months has…More Testimonials
SpaDental Whitchurch dentist is accepting new private patients. A new patient testimonial After the closure of my local dentist in Whitchurch I telephoned Spa Dental who made me an appointment. Unfortunately I had an abscess on my tooth before my appointment date, for which I was given an emergency appointment. I am a very nervous patient and it took a long time to build confidence with my old dentist , therefore my nerves were bad and I…More Testimonials
Kind words from our patients mean a lot to us. Thank you! We're very happy to read reviews that commend the Plymouth team and the dentists "excellent care" and "professional service". Recent patient reviews commend our excellent care: "In safe and caring hands - Without exception the treatment I have received has been outstanding. From the reception staff through each of the individuals involved, their focus is on you and you're fully involved in any…More Testimonials
We very much enjoyed reading the lovely Saltash patient reviews we've received in response to our recent request for feedback. On behalf of all the staff, thank you so much for your lovely comments. We sincerely appreciate your kind words, and will also use your recommendations in our planning. SpaDental considers your review comments carefully. We read them all, and use the information we gather to guide our practice so we can keep on improving…More Testimonials
A very appreciative thank you to our patients from the clinicians and staff at SpaDental Chard. It has been a pleasure reading your comments because if our patients are happy, then we're happy. Feedback about the team and treatment from SpaDental Chard reviews "Everyone in the practice is efficient, professional and knowledgeable." - HCG "5 Star Dental Care - Being in the centre of Chard, [the SpaDental] surgery is easily accessible for most patients. The…More Testimonials
SpaDental Plymouth sincerely thanks everyone who responds to our request to review the practice. We love reading all your positive comments. That said, we also take on board the suggestions you make. Because we take Plymouth patient reviews seriously, we read them carefully to see if anyone is less than satisfied with their experience and we use that information to guide our practice. Our review rating of 4.7 stars (out of 5) highlights Plymouth patient…More Testimonials