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Environmental sustainability of oral health interventions

Abed, Rawan Hussein; (2023) Environmental sustainability of oral health interventions. Doctoral thesis (D.Dent), UCL ( University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Environmental sustainability is responsible for maintaining natural resources and conserving the global ecosystem to protect health and wellbeing. Healthcare services are essential for maintaining and promoting human well-being; however, the current delivery of healthcare is not sustainable because of the high environmental load, rising costs, and increased demands. The profession of dentistry has high energy and intensive resources with a significant environmental impact. Healthcare professionals should incorporate environmental sustainability alongside the clinical and financial needs of the patient. This doctoral project included three studies to investigate this further. Study 1. An exploratory study design, comparing the environmental footprint of eight interdental cleaning aids included dental floss and interdental brush, using life cycle analysis (LCA). This study concluded no single best environmentally friendly product; however, the bamboo interdental brush had the lowest environmental impact. Study 2. A rapid scoping review of existing evidence regarding the impact of oral health interventions on the environment and a review of the methodology. Out of 5 included studies, only the environmental impact of the toothbrush has been extensively studied in the United Kingdom. Regarding the methods, Life cycle analysis dominated the protocol for measuring the environmental impact of dental products; due to the limited number of publications, further research is needed to establish a comprehensive knowledge base of current interventions to reduce carbon emissions and other environmental impacts. Study 3. A cross-sectional survey was conducted as an online questionnaire to compare the dentist’ perspective about the environmental impact of oral health interventions. The online survey was distributed among 33 dentists who practice in England. A modified questionnaire was used to collect information about clinical interventions' sustainability, comprising 15 questions. Microsoft Office 365 form was used to host the survey. The majority of dentists, 70% had not considered sustainability as a factor when recommending the toothbrush as well as dental floss 91%. Most participants (n=30) ranked bamboo toothbrushes and dental floss as the most sustainable interdental cleaning aids. Lack of enough knowledge regarding the sustainability of clinical interventions was the prime factor that influenced the recommendation of sustainable products. According to the current study, participants' knowledge, and practice of sustainability of clinical interventions are not up to the mark. As a result, all dentists must contribute at their level by updating their knowledge of the topic to put it into practice during their planned recommendations and help achieve the goal of making green dentistry a global phenomenon.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Dent
Title: Environmental sustainability of oral health interventions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2022. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10162843
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