How Eco-Friendly is your Dentist?

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Fred and Ina Pockrass are pioneers of green dentistry, eight years ago they opened the nations first eco-friendly dental practice.

Based in Berkely, California, the couple have created new techniques that have become the blueprint for green dentistry.

Although they have been popular with patients some in the industry have been more sceptical as Pockrass acknowledged,

“When we say ‘green dentistry’ we know what you hear. The term and the word “Berkeley” launch a raft of misperceptions that swirl around the thought of Birkenstock-wearing-incense-burning-commie-pinko-leftist dentistry.”

But at the Eco Dentistry association, a group founded by the pair, they showcased their ‘green lounge’ allowing members to see for themselves how a green practice operates. The group has over 500 members spread across 48 states and provides certification for green products and practices.

“Ten years ago, if you told me we were going to transform dentistry, I would have thought you were crazy,’’ said Pockrass at a speech to a green business forum. In her speech Pockrass expounded on the business case for eco-friendly dentistry, claiming that in the establishment of a green practice,

‘‘We created a business model that placed our dental office in the top 5 percent of the nation.’’

The Pockrasses ‘‘looked behind the curtain of this nice, clean profession’’ to expose what they call ‘‘dentistry’s dirty secrets.’’

Amongst these environmentally unfriendly practices are the use of millions of barriers that are destined for landfill, suction machines which can wastes up to 360 gallons of water per day, the dangers of x-rays and the use of poisononus mercury in fillings.

In response to these problems green dentistry is designed to cut down on waste, use less energy and water and use technology to avoid many of the pitfalls of conventional dentistry. In addition Pockrass claimed that green dentistry attracts a higher quality of patient, reduces supply and marketing costs and can make a practice more recession resistant.

Pockrass pointed to the establishment of eco-practices across the country including Maryland, Indiana and Arizona to indicate that her approach to dental care ‘’is not just Berkeley thing.’’

The Eco-Dentistry Association provides certification in addition to operating as a first point of call to those interested in green dentistry.

Join this Discussion

February 4th, 2011 at 08:47 PM
Susan Beck Says :

Thanks for posting this! Slight correction – we have about 500 members and growing!
Green dentistry is a great recession-proof model for cosmetic dental professionals, and many high-tech cosmetic practices are greener than they think they are. This means with a few simple product adjustments and leveraging their already high-tech methods, cosmetic dentists can market their practice as green, cutting costs, attracting new patients, and boosting their bottom line!