Smile magazine – ‘Prevention is the Cure’


Dentistry as a profession prides itself as being based at the forefront of preventative healthcare, but it could be time to take this principle philosophy a step further into the daily running and management of our practices.

The world, and indeed our own federal politics, is divided over the issue of climate change and emissions trading schemes, but perhaps on a more individual level we could do with taking a closer look at the environmental footprint of our own dental practices in regards to waste products of the industry such as mercury amalgam once it is removed from your mouth.

Just recently, our Minister for the Environment, Peter Garrett, created a National Waste Management Policy in order to prioritise waste issues and ways to address them. In light of this, over the past couple of years there have been made available many innovative and effective dental waste management options that not only collect mercury amalgam waste from our suction units, preventing it entering our waterways, but recycling it too. With these systems available it could be argued that our profession now has a duty of care to both our patients and to our environment.

The theme of environmental responsibility is continued in this edition of Smile with the promotion of a totally recyclable bamboo toothbrush. The brainchild of Brisbane dentist Dr Natalya Taylor, it’s a small change that can make a real, measurable difference to the health of the environment.

An article introducing my Dental WellnessTM concept in Brisbane also covers the issues of environmental responsibility when designing a state- of-the-art dental surgery. The Dental WellnessTM concept encompasses a holistic philosophy towards patients and staff and the environment, taking a pro-active wellness model to the dental industry as well as a business model for duplication.

Dr David Cowhig
Dental Wellness, Brisbane