As the depletion of non-renewable resources become more severe and the energy crisis intensifies around the world, more and more sectors and industries are looking for renewable, clean sources of power. The oral healthcare providers don’t want to be left behind in its quest for new energy sources. They are making a frantic and desperate attempt to use “green technology” for sustainability and greater cost savings.
Renewable Energy World writes in an article that “Green Dentistry” will become the mantra for many health clinics around the world. Solar energy has also powered a number of technological breakthroughs and innovations in this sector and also in other fields of medical science.
Solar powered innovations are indispensable for off-grid communities
Although the rush for solar energy transformation and progress has been much more in the developed countries around the world, the need is much more glaring and discernible in communities around the world that subsist without adequate energy generation and supply.
For those communities still not connected to power grids, solar photovoltaic cells can transform their lives by harnessing solar power and not only providing power to their homes but also at community health centers where innovations can lead to implementation of heath care best practices at affordable rates and also drive the search for credible solutions to unique problems in a particular community or a particular income group.
Some of the most notable innovations supported by solar energy
- Solar powered toothbrush: Solar powered toothbrushes can be recommended by rural oral healthcare clinics to patients suffering from severe dental plaque and cavity problems and who would otherwise require electric toothbrushes. The concept was first propounded by Dr. Yoshinori Nakagaina, according to this report. The first model was later developed by Dr. Kunio Komiyama. A modern model like the Soladey-J3X uses photosensitive TiO2 rods which when exposed to sunlight can convert the light into negative ions and remove plaque from your teeth by mixing with your saliva.
- Solar-powered Autoclave: Autoclave is a device that is used to sterilize and disinfect dental surgical instruments. A solar-powered autoclave can turn water into steam without even waiting for the entire container to boil. The device absorbs nano-particles from sunrays and transmits them to a bowl of water. An autoclave can utilize over 80% of the absorbed energy from the sun to produce steam. A solar concentrator lens can deliver the absorbed energy at an even faster rate so that the temperature of the watery solution increases rapidly. The nano-absorbants carry the produced steam to the surface of the container using buoyant force and again descend to repeat the process numerous times. A temperature of 115-135º C is produced within 5 minutes. The temperature is enough to kill microorganisms and germs.
- Plaster of Paris produced using solar power: Plaster of Paris is a highly useful element in a dentist’s kit. It can be used for filling dental cavities and for root canal treatments. Plaster of Paris produced using solar power is whiter and sets faster than those produced using heat from conventional, nonrenewable energy resources like charcoal, wood or diesel.
Other areas of innovation include powering entire clinics including their cooling units using solar power. A hybrid air conditioning unit comes with a solar rooftop and can utilize solar power to produce energy that can power the heating or cooling process of the device. One can hope that that as prices fall, more advanced technologies become available and governments around the world provide more incentives, the oral healthcare sector can metamorphose from one dependent almost completely on non-renewable energy to one which is sustainable and green. comment