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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 136-138

Green dentistry: A sustainable approach for rural india

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, ITS Dental College, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, People's College of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Date of Submission14-Oct-2020
Date of Decision30-Dec-2020
Date of Acceptance10-Feb-2021
Date of Web Publication16-Jul-2021

Correspondence Address:
Vini Mehta
People's College of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Bhopal - 462 037, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdrr.jdrr_144_20

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Oral health is a critical but overlooked component of overall health and well-being among children and adults. There is a need for comprehensive national educational programs to improve the rural population's oral health practice, knowledge, and attitudes.

Keywords: Green dentistry, India, oral health, rural

How to cite this article:
Kumbhalwar A, Mehta V, Mathur A. Green dentistry: A sustainable approach for rural india. J Dent Res Rev 2021;8:136-8

How to cite this URL:
Kumbhalwar A, Mehta V, Mathur A. Green dentistry: A sustainable approach for rural india. J Dent Res Rev [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jun 26];8:136-8. Available from: https://www.jdrr.org/text.asp?2021/8/2/136/321527

  Introduction Top

Oral health is a critical but overlooked component of overall health and well-being among children and adults. Although the vast unmet treatment need exists, striking inequality in the delivery system and absence of an adequate community-oriented prevention system is further aggravating the lack of reach of oral health-care facilities in the rural parts of India, especially in the rural areas.[1] Indian Dental Association has revealed that the dentist to population ratio is 1:10,000 in the urban areas, whereas it drastically falls to 1:250,000 in the rural areas.[2] Moreover, it has been observed that even dentists hesitate to practice in the rural areas due to a lack of resources.

Another main reason for this situation in rural areas is the lack of oral health education such as oral hygiene maintenance, tobacco use effects on oral health, and oral hygiene aids used. There is a need for comprehensive national educational programs to improve the rural population's oral health practice, knowledge, and attitudes. The high prevalence of oral health problems may be attributable to behavioral risk factors and barriers that prevent access to oral health care.[3] Hence these models are based on the eco-friendly dentistry depicts how government can improve the dentist population in the rural areas by adopting specific sustainable approaches such as water recycling, energy conservation, teledentistry, teleconsultation, and green vehicles.

The eco-dentistry association (EDA) defines green dentistry as: "green dentistry is a high-tech approach that reduces the environmental impact of dental practices and encompasses a service model for dentistry that supports and maintains wellness.[4] Eco-friendly dentistry is relatively a virgin concept in the dental practice. It is a part of a bigger picture of the ecologically-sustainable health-care system. It also encompasses a service model for dentistry that supports and maintains wellness. Eco-friendly dentistry is an approach to fulfil the necessities of patients and succors dental professionals to safeguard planetary and community well– being as well as financial health of their practices.[5]

  Necessity Top

According to EDA, the prime worth of switching to the eco-friendly dentistry is as follows:[6]

  • It is high-tech
  • Reduces waste and pollution
  • Saves time, energy, and money
  • Promotes wellness.

The entire process of networking, sharing digital information, distant consultations, workup, and analysis are dealt with by a segment of the science of telemedicine concerned with dentistry known as "Teledentistry."[7]

  Essential Majors in Green Dentistry Top

Energy conservation in today's world can be done in different ways. As India is a growing economy with a large population, it naturally requires many resources for various fields such as agriculture, industries, and domestic use. This has led to a rapid depletion of natural resources over the past few years, leading to an increase in importing resources. Using other energy alternatives such as solar energy, wind energy, and rainwater harvesting will surely help preserve natural resources.[8] The message that was intended to be delivered with this model's help is that we can reduce the use of natural resources in our day-to-day life using these resources.

  Solar Energy Top

The solar panels on top of these houses can utilize this energy to provide electricity to the houses and wind energy harvested from the windmills. This type of modern-day architecture that helps in sustaining the resources is called solar passive architecture. It uses a minimal amount of artificial energy for everyday activities.[9] Rainwater harvesting and reuse of polluted water are another way of utilizing the resources available without exploiting water's natural reserves. Similarly, the villages' waste water can be subjected to water recycling and then be reused by the villages. This helps conserve the natural sources of water.[10]

  Teledentistry Top

Teledentistry with the use of information administration and telecommunications can provide dental professionals with remote clinical training and improved patient education using web-based self-instruction and/or video-conference tools. A key infrastructure foundation required for effective teledentistry is high reliability and low latency internet bandwidth. Teledentistry has the potential to provide better oral health care access, improvement in its delivery system and reduction in its costs to the vulnerable population. Through remote health services and education for people living in remote and rural areas, this technological advancement can be leveraged.[7]

Teledentistry deals with using information-based technologies and communications systems to deliver health care across geographic distances, especially in the rural areas. With the help of teledentistry, clinical training can be provided to dental professionals and enhanced patient education using various tools such as video-conferencing and web-based information. Teledentistry would be more effective if it has high reliability and low latency internet bandwidth, which is considered the backbone of teledentistry. Dentistry deals with oral health care so that teledentistry can provide better access to oral health care. It has an improved delivery system and is more beneficial for the underprivileged population as it is available at a very low cost. This innovative technology would be effective for providing health-care services and health education for the population living in the rural areas.[7]

The women in the village can be taught various simple courses and educated through the internet, and these women will then pass on this knowledge to the other people in the village. That way, dentistry's awareness and the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene can be spread in no time. This also emphasizes the importance of women empowerment. Teledentistry will increase dentistry's scope in the rural areas and make working in the rural areas more feasible and improve the facilities for the people of the village. This will help create a better and educated surrounding the people in the villages.[7]

  The Green Energy Top

The green energy refers to "green vehicle" is a need of the hour. It increases vehicles' efficiency, reduces their fuel (energy), and reduces carbon dioxide emissions, depending on the charged electricity's carbon intensity. Electric and plug-in vehicles are more energy-efficient, less polluting, and enable many different primary energy sources, including renewable. As such, they may provide a very significant contribution to sustainable transport in the medium and long term. A recent development in this aspect is related to the news stating that the Ministry of Road, Transport, and Highways will soon install as many as 1200 charging points on the public–private partnership basis to allow charging of electricity-run vehicles within 1 to 6 h. The pilot project is likely to begin in Nagpur city, where 50 electric cars will be introduced.[11]

Similarly, a new concept of mitochondrial-derived vesicles with their source of energy harvested from a natural source like solar energy would help in the van's entire functioning. Batteries that store this extensive amount of solar energy and convert it to electrical energy when required for specific procedures that require electricity would be fitted in the van. This would make dentists' work in rural areas easier by providing access to more resources for better treatment and improving dentistry awareness in these villages and other remote areas.[12]

  Conclusion Top

Approaches include water recycling and reuse, energy conservation with solar power-driven mobile dental vans, and teledentistry. Teleconsultation should be brought into the mainstream with the help of the community. It also tells what a person can do in everyday life to make an impact by adopting easy things and making a big difference for a better tomorrow.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Parkash H, Shah N. National Oral Health Care Programme Implementation Strategies. New Delhi: AIIMS; 2002.  Back to cited text no. 1
Census of India. Rural Urban Distribution of Population; 2011. Available from: http://www.censusindia.gov.in/. [Last accessed on 2020 Sep 14].  Back to cited text no. 2
Khemka S, Baliga S, Thosar N. Approaches to improve access to dental care services. Int Dent Med J Adv Res 2015;1:1-2.  Back to cited text no. 3
Eco Dentistry Association. About Green Dentistry. Available from: http://www.ecodentistry.org/?aboutgreendentistry. [Last accessed on 2020 Sep 14].  Back to cited text no. 4
Avinash B, Avinash BS, Shivalinga BM, Jyothikiran S, Padmini MN. Going green with eco-friendly dentistry. J Contemp Dent Pract 2013;14:766-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
Muhamedagic B, Muhamedagic L, Masic I. Dental office waste-public health and ecological risk. Mater Sociomed 2009;21:35-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
Mihailovic B, Miladinovic M, Vujicic B. Telemedicine in dentistry (teledentistry). In: Graschew G, Roelofs TA, editors. Advances in Telemedicine: Applications in Various Medical Disciplines and Geographical Areas 2011. Rijeka, Croatia: InTech; 2011. p. 215-30.  Back to cited text no. 7
Chel A, Kaushik G. Renewable energy technologies for sustainable development of energy efficient building. Alexandria Eng J 2018;57:655-69.  Back to cited text no. 9
Available from: https://blog.mygov.in/water-conservation-rainwater-harvesting/. [Last accessed on 2020 Sep 14].  Back to cited text no. 10
Kampman B, Leguijt C, Bennink D, Wielders L, Rijkee X, de Buck A, et al. Green Power for Electric Cars Development of Policy Recommendations to Harvest the Potential of Electric Vehicles. Delft: CE Delft; 2010. p. 85.  Back to cited text no. 12


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