"Green Dentistry consists of a high-tech approach that reduces the environmental impact of dental practices. It is based on four R’s; Rethink, Reduce, Re-use and Recycle."
Welcome to A Good Community, Rosanna! You were born in Venezuela, but are currently living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. How did you end up here?
In August 2015, I received a job offer through LinkedIn to go to work as a dentist. From that moment, I had the conviction and the certainty that it was a moment of change in my life.
A new culture and a challenge far from my native country was very intriguing to me. The idea of knowing and understanding different ways of seeing growth was lovely. Riyadh, which is now my second home, has come to enrich me as a person and as a professional.
You are an environmentalist dentist. For those who aren't familiar with this term, what does it mean to be an environmentalist dentist?
Environmental awareness today has become the priority of human consciousness. The ever-increasing climate warming, pollution, deforestation and decrease in the biodiversity of our planet – all these factors testify that the time to change our behaviour is now.
The dental profession produces waste materials, in particular, metal and chemical agents that can damage the soil and biosphere. Overexploited water and electricity, used in various dental procedures and treatments, increase the consumption of natural resources, the growth of landfills, and the effects of global pollution. That's why being an ecologist in dentistry, or in general, is the right choice.
What do you hope the profession of dentistry will look like in the future?
Green Dentistry consists of a high-tech approach that reduces the environmental impact of dental practices. It is based on four R’s; Rethink, Reduce, Re-use and Recycle.
The Fundamental principles of dentistry are to promote and care for the dental health of the patient through prevention, diagnosis, the application of minimally invasive treatments in all its specialties, and of course, the rehabilitation of the stomatognathic (the anatomic system of the teeth, jaws and associated soft tissues) system.
Scientific research has proven that the application of products inherent to the dental field (most of them with oral contact), such as products used for sterilisation and cleaning floors, contain ingredients known to cause cancer, asthma, genetic mutation, and of course, negative effects on the environment.
I hope for this to encourage us to reflect upon the use of chemicals in our everyday life, and in turn, pushing us to create ecological alternatives, safeguarding both our own health and that of the environment.
I believe there is still a need to refine details here. However, in the meantime, avoiding exposure to these ingredients, based on the actual scientific research and converting to the concept of green dentistry, this is what I consider essential.
What motivates you to push this agenda forward?
Helping my community as much as I can through creating awareness on social media and within my professional network as well as cooperating with ecological organisations.
Aside from this, I strive to support green companies looking to develop new products in the dental field and collecting plastic within the community where I live, to transport it for recycling.
Reading daily and looking for innovative ideas motivates me to work towards a better sustainable lifestyle for my family. I learn something new every day, thanks to social media.
Have you seen any climate-related impacts on nature where you live?
In the past three years, I have spent my time in the Middle East where the weather is warm and dry throughout the year. Somehow, during this short period, I have noticed a significant change in the rain season with an increase in the duration and intensity of the rain. As for the summers, the frequency of the sandstorms is much higher than it has been in the past.
Which is the most challenging aspect of being an environmental dentist, and what is the most rewarding?
I believe the most challenging aspect is pushing for global awareness when it comes to sustainable dentistry and to rethink and reuse principles within the health field as much as I can in my work.
The most rewarding, is seeing the positive results of the expansion of our global consciousness in all these issues.
What in your mind signifies “A Good Community,” and what role does community play in creating a sustainable future?
A good community to me, is group of visionary confidants and creative minds with their hearts in the right place working together to support and bring forth complex, innovative ideas.
"Whether you are an eco-activist or its your first time reading about sustainability – it doesn’t matter. The world needs you!"
I believe that by supporting one another between different communities and areas, we can all take part in building a clean, ecological and highly profitable future.
Whether you are an eco-activist or its your first time reading about sustainability – it doesn’t matter. The world needs you!
Be curious, enrich yourself in knowledge every day, promote eco-activities in your town or city, become part of an association, dare to think differently.
Time is running out, humankind cannot keep sleeping anymore. We need to wake up and put ourselves on the first line to win this challenge, to change financial flow to eco flow and to build a liveable clean world for our children and generations to come.