Intraoral Scanners—Saving the Earth, One Impression at a Time

Conventional impressions in landfill graphicDoctors are always looking for ways to save—save teeth, save patients time, save money. What about saving the environment? Without even realizing it, dentistry has a huge impact in the Earth: plastic impression trays pile up in landfills, paper charting can use up to 10,000 pieces of paper a year. The overarching solution is to switch to digital solutions, e.g., digital scanning instead of using impression material, digital charting instead of paper files. Today, in honor of Earth Day, we’ll take closer look at one such digital solution that can decrease dentistry’s footprint on the environment—intraoral scanning.

Let’s compare some of the aspects of the traditional impression workflow with using an intraoral scanner and how each affects the environment:

 

Traditional Impression

Environmental Impact Digital Impression Environmental Impact

Plastic tray to take impression

Ends up in landfill; 450 years to break down Few consumables, no trays whatsoever

Minimal

Polyvinyl siloxane (PVS) impression

Ends up in landfill; never breaks down Impression is digital, no physical impression

None

Courier drives to practice to pick up impression

More cars on the road; carbon emissions Digital impression is sent via secure portal to lab

None

OR Impression is shipped to lab

Paper, cardboard or styrofoam packaging; fuel used by delivery truck or airplane

Digital impression is sent via secure portal to lab

None

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The Power of Purpose in Business and Life

By Roy Spence
Co-Founder & Chariman, GSD&M/Co-Founder & CEO, The Purpose Institute

Aristotle once said the purpose of life is to do good and be happy. It’s so simple yet so powerful, and it’s a thought that has shaped my thinking around the idea of “purpose.”

Defined simply, purpose is the reason why you exist and should be what drives you towards all your goals in life. It’s a concept that starts at home; essentially, stop asking your kids what they want to do and instead ask them what they love to do. And wouldn’t be great if schools put more emphasis on developing a sense of purpose and talent in students rather than simply passing tests? Once you have established your purpose, it will influence every aspect of your life.

I highly encourage individuals to find their purpose, but it’s an idea that easily translates to business as well. A practice’s purpose differs from its mission in that purpose is the practice’s “why” and mission is its “how.” Why does your practice exist? To provide every patient with a beautiful, healthy smile. How will your practice accomplish that? By delivering exceptional patient care. Vision, by the way, is how you see the world when you’re fulfilling your purpose, i.e., your practice can see a time when everyone will have access to great oral health care. It’s so important that practices clearly establish their purpose and rally their team around it. It’s the difference between waking up in the morning and thinking, “Today, I have to take 10 X-rays, perform 15 prophies, do two extractions…” and “Today, I get to make a difference in a patient’s life!” A practice’s purpose is a higher calling that motivates and encourages engagement. Continue reading