First Sustainable Dentistry Conference: How did it go?
On the 29th June 2018 the UK’s first Sustainable Dentistry conference: ‘Sustainable Dentistry- innovation and future proofing’ was held in London. This exciting event was hosted by Health Education England in partnership with The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH). Its aim was to engage and inspire dental trainees, high street dentists, community dentists and dental commissioners to embed sustainability in their day to day practice.
With over 100 delegates, the day was opened with an introduction to sustainability, followed by presentations by a variety of established dental and public health professionals including the deputy Chief Dental Officer Eric Rooney on topics relating to what the current situation is with the National Health Service (NHS) and Public Health England (PHE), where dentistry is now with regards to sustainability, carbon footprinting of dentistry, digitisation of healthcare and what tools and resources are currently available.
After a wonderful vegetarian lunch an interactive ‘Dragon’s Den’ workshop was held where delegates formed groups and were given the opportunity to come up with an innovative idea for a sustainable change to dentistry and pitch it to an expert panel of dragons. Ideas included effective solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of travel; limit medicines waste; increase the use of digital communication and reduce unnecessary paper use. All of the pitches were fantastic but one group wowed the judges the most with their idea for an innovative digital transformation of the orthodontic triage and referral system. They walked away with winners’ certificates and bamboo dental care products in hand!
The conference closed with a focus on the future of sustainable dentistry and where we go from here. The day was a real success, giving a flavour of the current climate of sustainable dentistry and its future potential as well as a great opportunity for all to network and discuss how dental teams can come together to support sustainable change.
Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and the conference achieved its aim to engage and inspire, which is an encouraging sign for the future of sustainable healthcare. We are optimistic the momentum will continue and we hope to see and be involved with events on sustainability in healthcare in the future.
Thank you to all who came and took part!