“We applaud the efforts of Dr. Walt and his team, who are on the leading edge of dentistry’s green future”,
remarked Dr. Fred Pockrass, a California dentist who co-founded the Eco-Dentistry Association. “It is our vision that one day all dentistry will be practiced in the earth-friendly and patient-friendly way of Dr. Walt’s practice.”
Our orthodontics office pursued the Eco Gold certification because we recognize that everyone must do their part for a green future and sustainable living.
We are in fact one of the first 100 dental practices in the world to achieve the Eco- Dentistry Association’s (EDA) Gold Certification by successfully completing the EDA’s GreenDOCTM program.
This is the highest rating a dental or orthodontics office can achieve and to our knowledge, we are the only orthodontic office in all of Canada (not just Vaughan!) that has earned this rating! Our team of dental professionals is honoured and proud to wear this badge of achievement!
Only dental offices meeting the association’s highest standards of pollution prevention, waste reduction, water and energy conservation, and wellness-based practices qualify as EDA certified offices. EDA’s GreenDOCTM program program contains over 180 eco-friendly initiatives that dental offices can implement, covering the physical office space, dental processes and materials, and administrative and community outreach methods used by our office.
Dr. Walt’s office implemented a wide range of initiatives listed in the EDA’s GreenDOCTM program and achieved 308 points, allowing it to earn Gold Certification. Things such as using digital imaging and digital patient charting, which reduces landfill waste and patient radiation exposure by as much as 90%. Our office also used salvaged oak from a demolished local barn as well as other natural materials found through out the the practice. Dr. Walt also invested in an automation system, which minimizes the excessive use of light and energy.
Our office is also very excited to report a recent addition in 2014. Clients who are looking for invisible braces or alternative solutions to traditional braces may be interested in invisalign. (Learn more about Invisalign here). In order to provide them with the best possible set of options and balance our commitment to the environment, we invested in 3D scanning technology that allow us to scan their teeth during the planning phase of the project (click here to read article on 3D scanning and Invisalign). By doing this we no longer have to throw out waste generated by taking the teeth impressions which are made from alginate impression materials.
“We know that our environmental problems are serious and that each of us needs to do what we can to be part of the solution”, said Dr. Walt. “ As an EDA certified practice, we are able to continue to provide our patients with the highest quality of dental care while incorporating the highest standards of planetary care. The response from my patients has been tremendous and they really seem to appreciate the little things we have done to become more environmentally responsible.”
Located in Vaughan, the Orthodontics practice is a part of the eco system of the Oak Ridges Morraine. It was therefore of paramount importance to Dr. Walt that the office incorporate environmentally friendly practices from the construction phase, right through to day to day operations.
Due to our location on the Oak Ridges Moraine, Walt Orthodontics has created several initiatives to become environmentally friendly. Our commitment to our surroundings is manifested by the physical construction of the facility through to our day-to-day operations. Walt Orthodontics is currently the only orthodontic office in Ontario that is a member of the Eco-Dentistry Association.
We contracted a Denver-based architectural firm, Joe Architect, which specializes in environmental design for professional offices, to design Walt Orthodontics. Together, we came up with a very different, non-traditional type of office design that used locally produced, natural, and environmentally friendly materials. Some of the special items include:
• Desks, benches, and an iPad bar made from reclaimed oak obtained from a demolished barn in the Vaughan area
• Concrete and steel feature walls that were constructed locally
• Polished concrete flooring throughout the entire practice
• A Savant® automation system that controls the lights and temperature of the office according to need
• Motion sensor water faucets and dual-flush toilets to minimize water waste and electronic hand dryers to minimize paper waste
• LED lighting throughout the practice and on the dental chairs
• Dry dental vacuum system (as opposed to a wet one, which utilizes water)
• Energy efficient HVAC system
Our respect for our surroundings didn’t end with the construction of Walt Orthodontics. We have instituted several policies that minimize our daily environmental footprint. Some of our policies include:
• Digital charting and radiography
• Electronic patient communication
• When paper must be used, it is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified
• Steam (autoclave) sterilization – no chemical based “cold sterilization”
• Drinking water is dispensed from a Brita® Hydration Station® as opposed to bottled water
• Distilled water for sterilization is produced in-house with our own water distiller instead of buying bottled distilled water
• Medical-grade cloth pouches are used to wrap our treatment cassettes instead of paper wraps