How Can I Learn to Be Greener?

heart in hedgeA lot of patients at our Georgetown dental office see all of the environmentally friendly things that we do and think, “Wow. I can barely recycle soda cans. How do they do all that?” It really isn’t as hard as it looks, it just takes the time and commitment to change your routine. We’d like to talk about a couple of changes we made in our office, and suggest a couple of changes that you can easily make at home to help reduce your carbon footprint, cut down on waste, and save the environment.

We Embrace Technology

Transferring all of our patient records from paper to electronics wasn’t just convenient, it was in an effort to reduce all that wasteful paper and file folders taking up space. Think of all the trees that have to be cut down and processed to print out all that intake paperwork. Now, we can do it on an iPad and easily access that information without using reams and reams of paper.

How can you embrace technology?

Have you thought about converting some of your utility bills to paperless billing? Or filing your taxes online and saving the finished forms as a pdf on your computer? Just think of all the paper you wouldn’t have to touch.

We Reduce Waste

When you come to our Georgetown dental office for an appointment, you’ll see soft, cloth towels in the bathroom rather than rolls of paper towels. Why? We’re cutting down on waste by using towels that we can easily pop in the wash and re-use, rather than rolls and rolls of paper that will clutter up a landfill.

How can you reduce waste?

Consider using a mop with a reusable, washable head for cleaning floors, switching to cloth dish-towels in the kitchen instead of disposable paper ones, and think about buying soaps and other liquids in bulk and refilling bottles rather than constantly having to throw them away.

We Save Water

When you come for your preventive cleaning, we’ll encourage you to turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth everyday. Leaving the water running wastes up to 90 glasses of water per day! This is something that we all do here at the office, and we encourage everyone to pass on our message of environmental stewardship.

How can you save water?

That’s easy! Take the “Save 90 a Day” pledge and show that you really do want to help make a difference and protect the world around you.

We hope that these little tips have made you realize that being environmentally conscious, both at work and at home, isn’t as hard as you might think. For more ideas, or if you’re due for your hygiene visit, give us a call today!

How Your First Visit is Different at Trade Winds

closeup of beautiful woman

If you’ve just moved to our area, or if you happen to be looking for a new Georgetown dental office, you made have heard through the grapevine that we are different than most. We’d like to show you how different we really are by describing what an initial visit is like at Trade Winds Dental.

Let’s Talk Green

The first thing that you’ll notice is that we are GreenDoc Gold Certified. This designation means that we go well above and beyond what most practices do in an effort to be environmentally friendly. We use no paper towels, no amalgam (metal) dental fillings, and have live plants throughout our office. You’ll also see that we recycle – and we’ll offer you a BPA-free toothbrush made from recycled plastic. When it’s time to change that toothbrush (we recommend every three months), bring it back in and we’ll donate $1 to Hope Alliance when we recycle it.

Digital is Better

After you’ve toured our office, we’ll take digital x-rays using the latest technology. If you ever need dental impressions, perhaps for a crown or other restorative work, we’ll be using an intraoral scanner rather than the old fashioned goopy impression material for the most accurate scans possible.

Advanced Cleanings

When it is time for your first cleaning, you may experience something unexpected at our Georgetown dental office as perform an oral cancer screening. We will regularly check for any changes so that we can detect any anomalies as early as possible. The earlier we find problems, the easier they can be to treat. We’ll then thoroughly clean and polish your teeth, possibly more thoroughly than you’ve ever had it done before. We may also apply a fluoride treatment for extra protection.

Comfort is Key

Before your visit is complete, we’d love to offer you a fresh smoothie, lip balm, or talk to you about how you can be more green at home. If applicable, we’ll be sure that your insurance benefits are being used to the fullest, and develop a treatment plan for any work that you’re looking to complete. Finally, we’ll be sure to answer any and every question you may have about your health and our services.

It’s not just our love of the environment that makes us different – it’s a personal touch that you won’t find from any other dentist in Georgetown. Why not call and make an appointment today?

Let’s Talk Tech

medical technologyWe don’t normally toot our own horn when it comes to technology. But in talking with several new patients who came from practices that seemed archaic (their word) by comparison, we thought we might take a moment to share how our Georgetown dental office stays on the leading edge of technology, both for your comfort and convenience, and also to help the environment.

No Goopy Impressions

Most of us have not so fond memories of having to get a dental impression made – that weird goopy stuff on the tray that you have to keep ever so still in your mouth and try not to gag on? And if you move? OH, big trouble – that means you need to do it all over again to get the impression correct.

That scenario is a thing of the past in our office. We use an intraoral digital scanner to create full color, 3D impressions of your teeth using a tool that looks a bit like a big pen. It takes over 3,000 images per second for the most accurate imagery possible, which means we can get the exact specifications of your mouth and teeth (even the color!) before we create a restoration.

Same Day Crowns

Speaking of restorations, we use CAD/CAM technology to mill porcelain crowns right here in our office, which means you can fix a broken tooth with a new crown in one single visit. That sure beats having to wait for a lab to send something back that might not be correct, taking up time and affecting your confidence!

Safe Removal of Amalgam

You’ll hear us talk a lot about both the health and environmental hazards of amalgam (metal) fillings. A lot of practices remove metal fillings and allow those little bits of toxic metal to go right down the sink into the water supply. Not us! We use an amalgam separator to keep every minute particle of amalgam from getting into the wastewater supply and sewer system.

And Yes, We’ve Got Lasers

No, we’re not playing laser-tag in the office…. although that does sound like a lot of fun. Your Georgetown dentist uses a tool that combines laser technology and the power of water to perform a number of dental procedures without anesthetics or drills. It’s super precise, so it means removing less amounts of healthy tooth when fixing a cavity, and the continuous spray of water keeps the tooth hydrated, which reduces heat and possible pain.

We strive to keep on the very cutting edge of technology at our Georgetown dental office so that our patients can receive the safest, most precise  and efficient treatments possible, while still holding to our ideals of protecting Mother Earth. Do you have questions about our tech? Ask us to show you how our tools work during your next appointment!

Our Amazing GreenDOC™ Gold Certification

Green DocWhat it Means and How we Stay Committed

By now you have probably heard about the fact that Trade Winds Dental has been awarded the GreenDOC™ Gold certification by the by the Eco-Dentistry Association (EDA) for our commitment to being green. We believe this is an essential step, not only for the present but for the future of our children. After all, without earth, there would be no smiling would there?

Trade Winds Dental is the first office in Georgetown and Williamson County and one of four dental offices in Texas to achieve GreenDOC™ Gold certification. And get this: Trade Winds Dental is one of the first 100 dental practices in the world to achieve this honor!

So how does this affect you? In the best ways possible!

The Benefits of Having a Green Dentist

Are the benefits something only future generations will reap when the world isn’t drowning in mercury fillings and plastic impression trays. Not at all! There are definitely benefits for our patients to enjoy right now, such as:

  • Healthier, low allergen office space
  • More stable fees over time
  • Incredible technology – such as goop-free digital impressions – for better accuracy and less waste
  • Electronic charts for less paper and more convenience
  • Digital X-rays for reduced radiation exposure, elimination of harsh processing chemicals and clearer images
  • Nicer, homier touches such as soft towels to dry your hands on instead of scratchy paper
  • Steam sterilization of instruments for a super deep clean
  • Lip balms are petroleum-free and made with vegan, organic ingredients
  • Lots of living, indoor plants are a major part of our interior design for improved air quality and a clean, soothing environment

Plus, we put your hygiene visit supplies in a reusable, environmentally-conscious shopping bag made of 100% post-consumer and post-industrial fibers. There are so many more benefits, but you would start getting bored before very long and stop reading! Visit us or give us a call. We’d be happy to show you around.

How Green Can We Go?

While we have always tried to be environmentally friendly, our commitment to green dentistry began in earnest during our move in 2011. First, Dr. Hennington chose an already-existing dental office and refurbished it to meet our exacting standards. That meant there were none of the environmental impacts  associated with new office construction. We also saved and refurbished our existing flooring, window treatments, phone systems, and light fixtures to reduce waste as much as possible while creating our new office space. We also made sure to paint and stain the new interior using only low VOC paints and stains for significant air quality improvement. When it was time for the actual move, we chose a moving service that provided plastic, reusable boxes for moving instead of using traditional, cardboard boxes. Of course, we updated much of our old office equipment with more innovative technology, but instead of sending the old equipment to the landfill, we donated it for reuse in areas that don’t have access to more modern dental equipment or either entered it into a recycling program.

That was just the beginning. Now we continue our efforts by:

  • Updating our equipment to greener solutions whenever we can,
  • Recycling everything
  • Using energy saver appliances to washing our own uniforms, towels, and sterilization covers with eco-friendly products to reduce the use of harsh chemicals from commercial laundries
  • Using supplies that can be sterilized and re-used instead of disposables that are thrown away and added to landfills
  • Using  an amalgam separator to keep silver fillings containing mercury (removed from patient’s mouths) from entering the community water supply

To learn more or to make suggestions about other ways we could be green, call our Georgetown TX, dental office. We are here for every smile – now and in the future!