Eco-Friendly Dentistry is a newly evolving practice of dentistry, which encompasses a devotion to sustainability, prevention, and a minimally invasive Patient as well as Global treatment philosophy. Dr. Ashley Niles, of Niles Family Dentistry, is a member of the Eco-Dentistry Association and works to foster good overall physical and oral health while reducing waste and pollution through her dental practice.
The concept of eco-friendliness is more than a philosophical approach. Those who subscribe to the principles of sustainability can feel comfortable with Dr. Niles, knowing that each area of Niles Family Dentistry has been analyzed for ways to make it more eco-friendly. From the use of LED lights, down to the materials used to create her office space, much of the existing building was repurposed during construction along with environmentally friendly paint, carpet, and building products, such as beetle kill wood. Her office is an eco-friendly space from the inside out.
What Makes Dr. Niles’ Office an Eco-Friendly Dental Practice?
One aspect of Niles Family Dentistry eco-friendly practice is the use of digital dental x-rays. In addition to protecting the environment, digital x-rays are a better diagnostic tool for capturing images of your teeth, mouth and bones. Digital x-rays provide Dr. Niles with improved images and reduces the radiation exposure by 85 percent, providing a safer, healthier form of radiography than with the conventional radiography system.
Because digital x-rays take multiple images at once, and can be displayed instantly, the time spent capturing x-rays is greatly reduced, meaning you spend less time in the dentist’s chair. The accuracy of digital x-rays also allows us to diagnose a treatment plan more efficiently because we can readily see what needs to be done, which saves time in the long run.
Digital x-rays also come with the added advantage of being able to be easily archived in a patient’s digital file to be reviewed instantly at any given time. X-rays can be superimposed with images taken earlier so you can visually see the progress/changes during your treatment. With this powerful technology, you can visually see changes related to: tooth movement, bone loss or growth, restoration work, fillings, or root canals. This allows you to be a much bigger part of the treatment process and helps validate what Dr. Niles is doing for you.
According to the Eco Dentistry Association, dental practices generate 28 million liters of toxic x-ray fixer every year. Traditional x-ray fixers contain chemicals such as Ammonium Thiocyanate and Boric Anhydride. These chemicals are skin, eye and respiratory tract irritants, and can be extremely hazardous if inhaled or ingested. Some studies have shown that they are toxic to the thyroid, kidneys, liver, and blood and prolonged or repetitive exposure can cause organ damage. Eliminating the use of harsh chemicals/materials associated with traditional radiography helps our environment be a safer, healthier place.
Niles Family Dentistry is a Mercury Free Dental Practice
Over 100 million Americans have amalgam fillings in their mouths and mercury is traditionally used in dental amalgam. Silver or mercury-amalgam dental fillings contain from 48-55 percent mercury, which is a potent neurotoxin. Scientific studies have demonstrated that mercury, even in small amounts, can cause damage to organs, glands, blood cells, enzymes, and hormones, and have been shown to suppress the body’s immune system. Several European countries have banned or restricted the use of amalgam fillings due to its proven toxic effects. Mercury can be released into the environment when amalgam is placed, finished and polished or removed from your mouth and can be either rinsed into sewage systems or disposed of in a landfill.
To safely remove mercury fillings, Dr. Niles uses an amalgam separator to reduce the amount of mercury entering the environment. The amalgam separator trap collects and separates amalgam waste before it enters the sewage system. Amalgam that is collected from traps is then collected and recycled.
Dr. Niles only uses composite resins for filling material which are custom made to match the exact color of your natural teeth. The filling material is durable and more aesthetically pleasing than silver fillings and there are no toxic effects.
The typical dental office in the United States throws away a half-dozen or more lawn-size garbage bags every day! 1.7 billion sterilization pouches and 680 million patient barriers are dumped by dental practices every year. Niles Family Dentistry reduces waste in the following ways:
- Eco-friendly disinfectants maintain a hospital-grade environment in the dental lab
- FDA-registered reusable sterilization pouches and wraps for sterilization have been implemented
- Steam sterilization replaces chemical-based sterilization
- Toxic cold-sterilization methods are eliminated
- Reusable cloth patient barriers and bibs
- Cloth lab coats are used
- The use of disposables in all dental office processes have been reduced and any waste that is created is recycled
- Electronic patient records are more environmentally friendly as we are primarily a paperless office. Going paperless not only makes information sharing easier and accessible, and there is no need for rows of filing cabinets.
Dr. Niles Practices What She Preaches
For Dr. Niles, eco-friendly dentistry is a personal philosophy of caring for the beautiful Colorado environment she loves. She also focuses on overall oral and physical health and wellness for herself and for her patients. She rides her bike to work, and offers discounts for those who ride their bike to an appointment with her.
Niles Family Dentistry provides a wide range of dental services for the whole family. Located in Niwot, Colorado at 136 2nd Ave. Suite 101, Dr. Niles also provides dental care to patients in Boulder, Longmont and other areas of northern Colorado.
Make an appointment online or call (720) 744-0001. Do your part to be an eco-friendly patient and pedal to her office for your appointment. Make sure you let her know you rode your bike, she’ll probably want to see it, and of course as promised, she will give you a discount for doing so.
Tags: Eco-Friendly Dentist