By: Natalie Costa, www.backpackjourna.com
Orlando Dental and Implant Studio, located in Orlando, FL, is proving that dental offices can be eco-friendly, too. From the construction of the office to the delivery of their information, Dr. Cuprill and his staff are relying on local labor first.
According to their site, when constructing the office, the dental office enlisted Evergreen Construction Management, a LEED certified and local general contracting firm. Dr. Cuprill says this decision was easy. He says, “We looked at multiple different General Contractor firms, and took bids on all of them. All firms were local, as I found it to be irresponsible to hire somebody that would be traveling from far for the job (not good for the carbon footprint). I settled on Evergreen Construction Management because I felt that they best understood my vision for a green construction (given they were LEED certified and local) that would impact as little as possible while being done, and would continue to be efficient and green after we took delivery.”
Beyond this, Orlando Dental and Implant Studio is pursuing certification as a green practice through the Eco Dentistry Association (EDA). Dr. Cuprill explains that the association shares a vision of eco friendly dentist practices that minimize the impact of the dental profession on the planet. In addition, the Green Doc program offers the opportunity for both patients and dentists to become certified in “green” dental practice. If interested, you can read more here.
Arguably, dentist offices have not been the targets of environmental agencies, so what can they do to minimize their eco footprint? At Orlando Dental and Implant Studio, Dr. Cuprill does not utilize paper charts and has recently purchased digital signature pads. Patients sign in on a laptop when coming in to the office for an appointment and all patient payment receipts and treatment estimates are sent by email.
However, Dr. Cuprill admits, “There is still a very small percentage of paper that is needed as we still get some reports from specialists in the mail, along with insurance documents and documents we may to print out in the office. If I had to estimate our impact on paper usage versus a traditional non-digital dental practice, we are probably lowering our paper usage by about 80-85 percent.”
Even so, printed documents are printed with soy-based products. This includes business cards, stationary and marketing products; Aloma Printing in Winter Park, FL performs all of their printing needs.
For work done outside of the office, such as lab work, Dr. Cuprill keeps it local, too. He says, “The laboratories that I employ are RC Dental Lab (Fixed prosthesis) and C&C Dental Lab (Removable prosthesis) that are local Orlando businesses that have been around for 20+ years and have all work done on the premises. This is important because many labs have started outsourcing their cases to Asia or Latin America to cut costs, stating that all work is done with FDA approved materials, but that is hard to police and is up to a labs ethics.” He continues, “It also makes me very proud to be able to support local businesses that are putting out high quality products and services that are all made here in town, adding to the local economy. I can’t vouch for their green practices, but I know that with RC, we recycle most of our shipping materials and the little plastic boxes where our crowns are shipped (fully sterilized by the lab).”
Environmentally friendly dental practice is certainly in its infancy, but Dr. Cuprill is making great strides to ensure that it is a sustainable business practice by starting local. By cultivating the local economy, Orlando Dental and Implant Studio embodies Ourlando’s Think Local First movement. Their mantra, “Eco-friendly dentistry…simply done,” emphasizes the importance of green practice to Dr. Cuprill and his family. For more information on the office and their eco-friendly practices, check out their website (www.orlandoteeth.com) and Dr. Cuprill’s Blog (http://orlandoteeth.blogspot.com).