Paying attention to overall health and the environment is more than a trend—it’s a worthy cause! More and more dentists are adding Eco- and Bio-Dentistry to their portfolios. In this post, we’ll look at these two ways to practice dentistry with a conscience and appeal to patients who want to be healthier and “greener.”
Eco? Bio? What’s the difference?
Eco-dentists take the impact on the environment into account when managing their practices and making decisions about treatments and technology. Environmentally friendly choices include supplies with less packaging, “greener” service providers for your practice, or digital x-rays that allow you to skip the plastic film. Like any other business, dental practices can do a lot to minimize environmental damage, and patients will be happy to know that you are making these choices!
Bio-dentists (or biological dentists) practice what is also known as “holistic dentistry” (aka biological dentistry or natural dentistry), which considers the overall health of patients, including but also beyond their oral health. These dentists look at nutrition, stress levels, and other aspects of whole-body health as part of dental care. They also favor natural dentistry whenever possible, and gentle dental care and materials that have less impact on the body—such as avoiding metal fillings and crowns.
Why should you practice Bio- or Eco-Dentistry? The Pros!
There are lots of reasons why these approaches appeal to dentists:
First, they are appealing to patients, too! Adding environmentally-conscious approaches to a dental practice can boost patient acquisition—these are issues consumers value. According to a recent study, over 80% of consumers will be more loyal to businesses that practice Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). “Going green” has the benefit of being both good for the planet and great for your dental practice marketing plan! As for holistic medicine, in Europe, the US, and other industrialized areas of the globe, 50% of people have used complementary or alternative medicine. This large portion of the population is already looking for alternatives to traditional medical care, and thus likely to find biological dentistry appealing.
Second, these approaches extend your portfolio of specializations and services, which can mean more revenue for your practice. As we discussed earlier on this blog, consultations on nutrition and holistic health are just one more valuable service you can offer patients and help expand your brand. Don’t forget to add informative, eye-catching subpages to your website and promote these services on social media channels!
Third, and most important, it’s the right thing to do. As you know, there is more to practicing dentistry than profits. Innovative dentistry looks beyond oral health to the impact of dental care on global sustainability and the health and well-being of the whole person.
Are there any Cons?
The only negative would be compromising the quality of dental care you provide, but this is completely avoidable. As with any new dental treatments or approaches, knowledge is paramount. For example, issues like the replacement of amalgam fillings are controversial. Not all market-friendly practices are best practices. It’s best to make educated decisions with the health of patients in mind and not bow to popularity.
Adding Bio- and Eco-Dentistry to your dental practice portfolio is a win-win approach. It can benefit patients, the environment, and potentially boost your patient retention and acquisition rates. So do your research, make some positive changes at your dental practice, and feel good about practicing health and environment-friendly dentistry!