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Becoming a paperless office means so much more than simply reducing your paper consumption. In this blog post will be just a few benefits, not only to your practice but to the environment and future generations. In addition, several options for going paperless will be provided along with links to even more information.

Benefits to your practice

Reduces expenses and saves time

Going completely paperless means no more spending money on paper and paper products. This probably doesn’t sound like a lot of money saved, but statistics suggest that “a conventional dental office uses an average of 10,000 sheets of paper every year just to populate paper charts.” In a dollar amount, your office could be saving nearly 9,000 a year, but this isn’t just about the money. Going paperless will save you and your team time, freeing you to provide your patients with an overall satisfying experience. Instead of pulling charts, attempting to decrypt doctor and hygienist notes or even locating misfiled x-rays, your team could be providing crucial patient education or discussing in-depth with the patient the treatment plan and financial options available.

Simplifies organization

Going paperless means that everything is right where you and your team need it. With just a click of a button, you are able to find and retrieve your information faster and easier. And misfiling becomes less of an issue.

Better security

Going paperless means superior security. The last thing you need is a natural disaster like a flood or a fire to damage or destroy irreplaceable records and documents. Going paperless guarantees the safety and security of those documents, and having cloud backup allows you to go even further still as the possibility of an attack on your computer could force you to shut down your practice. With cloud backup, your patient records and documents are safe and in less than a day, your practice could be up and running.

Superior Patient Communication

It is important to make a good first impression with your patients, but not in the way you think. Providing a clean and uncluttered office in which there are no papers lying around, no clipboards waiting on the desk gives your patient the first impression that you are a twenty-first-century office. When it comes to communication, becoming a digital office allows you to have your patients right at your fingertips. You are able to email or even text confirmations and recall reminders without using a single sheet of paper.

Benefits to the Environment

It is important to keep in mind that sustainability guarantees natural resources for future generations. Amid all the chaos of fake news and an all-out war on facts, we need to remember something crucial. The way we treat the environment now will affect how future generations treat it. We are being told to dismiss climate change, but dismissing climate change means dismissing the generations to come after us. We can’t become complacent to this very real threat. The fact remains that humankind is contributing to the excessive amount of carbon dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere. Have you noticed all of those strange weather events occurring all over the world? Those are the result of a warming planet growing exceedingly warmer each year. So how will going paperless help in our fight against climate change? Below are just a few positive effects this action can have.

Protects trees (our shield against CO2)

Trees are considered carbon sinks. In an article provided by forestry.about.com, Steve Nix, a Forestry expert, writes that trees are “carbon sinks.” In other words, they lock away carbon dioxide in the wood, roots, and leaves and can lock up as much as it produces. “This locking-up process ‘stores’ carbon as wood and not as an available ‘greenhouse’ gas. Trees are imperative to our survival as a species so it is beneficial to protect them as best we can. “Trees are the ground troops making up an environmental frontline.”

Reduces paper waste

According to theworldcounts.com, “it is estimated that by 2020, paper mills will be producing 500 million tons of paper and paperboard each year!” Paper waste produces paper pollution which is toxic to our air, water, and our soil. Paper is produced by using chlorine-based bleaches so when paper rots in the landfill, a toxic gas called Methane gets released. This is worse than CO2. Going paperless means that this paper waste will be significantly reduced and in turn will reduce the amount of toxic gasses entering our atmosphere.

Saves water

This doesn’t sound real, but I assure you it is. The amount of water used to produce one piece of paper is 10 litres. The less paper we need in our offices, the less water will be wasted to make it.

How to go paperless

In an effort to go paperless, try the option of downloading a PDF Writer. Below are downloading instructions. Please download at your own risk. If you are unsure about downloading, consult your IT to do it for you. By setting up a PDF Writer, this allows all documents to be converted into a PDF format and you will save trees and money by not printing on paper. PDFs are the new evolutionary way to share documents by email or digital faxes. Any of the documents from Microsoft Word, Excel or Powerpoint, etc. will convert into a PDF with this installed.

Here’s how to do it:

Cute PDF Writer Instructions

    1. Go to cutepdf.com, products, Cute PDF Writer, or just go to the link provided here: http://www.cutepdf.com/products/cutepdf/writer.asp
    2. Click on “Free Converter” to the right
    3. This will start downloading Ghost Script Converter at the bottom of the screen
    4. Select the download and click “Run.”
    5. Click “Setup”
    6. Decline all offers for any other add-on software.

    7. Click “Install”
    1. Go back to cutepdf.com, products, Cute PDF Writer or just go to the link provided here: http://www.cutepdf.com/products/cutepdf/writer.asp
    2. Under “Free Download,” please click on “Free Converter.”
    3. The converter will start downloading at the bottom of the screen
    4. Select the download and click “Run.”
    5. Select “I accept the agreement” and click “Next.”
    6. Decline all offers for any other add-on software that may pop up.
    7. Click “Install”
    8. Go to your Windows Start Button or search box (Win 10), and select Devices and Printers
    9. Right click on “Cute PDF Writer” and set as default printer.

Remember that every action counts, no matter how small, towards sustainability. Have you gone paperless? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.


  1. https://www.helpsystems.com/resources/articles/top-ten-reasons-go-paperless
  2. http://climate.nasa.gov/news/693/watching-the-planet-breathe/
  3. http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/environment/how-going-paperless-can-help-businesses-and-the-planet-infographic/
  4. http://forestry.about.com/od/treephysiology/tp/tree_value.htm
  5. https://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/statsprofile
  6. https://www.id2.ca/downloads/eco-design-paper-facts.pdf
  7. https://www.statista.com/statistics/240565/consumption-volume-of-paper-and-paperboard-in-selected-countries/
  8. http://www.dentalproductsreport.com/dental/article/going-paperless-increases-efficiency-and-helps-your-practice-become-environmentally-f
  9. http://www.theworldcounts.com/stories/Paper-Waste-Facts