IADR Abstract Archives

The Environmental Impact of Polymer Uses in Oral Health Care.

Objectives: Oral care professionals use large quantities of polymers in the dental clinic for multiple purposes. There is a growing concern about the environmental impact, but waste and ecological pollution estimates remain scarce. We sought to systematically review the literature to estimate the quantity of waste and pollution related to plastic protective devices, surgical equipment, resin-based composite restorative materials (RBC) fabrication, and clinical handling of RBC. A secondary objective was to estimate the elution of components and microplastic particles in vivo associated with intraoral wear and degrading RBC restorations.
Methods: The SR was registered in PROSPERO. We used Boolean search strategies adapted to different bibliometric databases and the grey literature. References were exported to Endnote, duplicates were removed, and next, exported to a relation database (Microsoft Access). Two independent investigators scrutinized the identified publications to determine whether the contents contained waste or material component loss data. The scientific papers were critically appraised using validated checklists adapted for different study methodologies. Data were subjected to meta-analyses suitable to the statistical data type.
Results: The search yield was limited to 112 scientific publications, of which 82 contained data. Effective mitigation strategies to reduce environmental pollution by waste handling and less single use devices are limited. Dust and aerosols from grinding dental devices made from some polymers remain an hazard principally for dental personnel. The amount of estrogenic xenobiotic bisphenol-A residues leakage from RBCs (n=22 papers) in vitro is low, but recent in vivo data raise concern. “Nanocomposite” RBCs show acceptable occupational and patient risk profiles, but environmental aspects remain undocumented. Emerging data suggest that RBCs may have higher global warming potential than alternative restorative materials.
Conclusions: The use of different polymers in dental care clinics is frequent and in large amounts, with a largely unknown environmental impact. Studies on microplastics release secondary to material degradation. Mitigation strategies for waste handling and reduction of single use plastics must address better practices, including reusing devices and recycling.

2024 IADR/AADOCR/CADR General Session (New Orleans, Louisiana)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Behavioral, Epidemiologic and Health Services Research
  • Gussgard, Anne Margrete  ( UiT The Arctic University of Norway , Tromsø , Norway )
  • Jokstad, Asbjørn  ( UiT The Arctic University of Norway , Tromsø , Norway )
  • NONE
    Poster Session
    Social and Environmental Factors and Oral Health
    Thursday, 03/14/2024 , 03:45PM - 05:00PM