by Jim Du Molin
With Al Gore taking home an Oscar, you can’t help but wonder about where today’s eco trends will take us. More green products and eco-friendly services pop up every day. Sometimes it seems like the sky’s the limit (with or without an ozone layer).
Though we know there are major differences between dentists, sometimes it’s hard for consumers to tell the difference one dental practice from another.
But what if you had something that truly differentiated your practice, made it different from every other practice out there? Well, that’s just what the “Transcendentist” has done. Located in Berkeley, California (where else?), it might at first sound like sort of place where you can get your dental work done at the same time as getting your aura read.
In fact, Transcendentist appears to be the nation’s first eco-friendly dental office, officially certified by the Alameda County Green Business Program. Dr. Fred Pockrass’s practice was also certified by the Bay Area Green Business Program, the first dental office to have met the requirements.
As you might expect, the practice strives to create a dental spa atmosphere heavily influenced by New Age principles. The interior design is warm and soothing, all patients are treated to a foot massage, meditative music, and even “sound and color therapy” (I’m not quite sure what that means). But eco principles are present in all the details: chemical-free carpets and upholstery, non-toxic paint, recycled and reclaimed materials throughout.
But that’s only part of eco-dentistry™ (a term that Transcendentist has trademarked). When they remove mercury-containing amalgam (which they don’t use themselves), they filter and separate the mercury to avoid any water contamination. The office uses digital imaging technology only, avoiding the radiation of X-rays and the chemicals associated with developing them. Disposable paper products (such as bibs and headrests) have been replaced with plush terrycloth models laundered on the premises. Digital files minimize paper use, and what paper is used is always recycled.
Maybe you’re thinking this is the same dental spa phenomenon you’ve seen before, this time with a green California twist. But the practice is swimming in new patients. Although the founders initially expected only about a dozen new clients a month, they’re averaging 30-40 new patients each month, sometimes seeing as many as 60. The founders are already planning on licensing their business model and spreading the eco-dentistry trend within the next two years.
Jim Du Molin