Many potential patients will often find dental practice marketing materials in their mailboxes and inboxes on a regular basis. As a consumer, this provides the luxury of choice, as new patients can carefully sort through each unique dental postcards, read about the specific operational habits or special services rendered at each dental practice and carefully discern which dentist is the right option for them.

However, as a dental practice, this can be a daunting prospect in attempting to separate oneself from the pack of similar practices. To this end, differentiating your practice from the rest of the crowd can make a significant positive impact on acquiring new patients. Whether through services offered, pricing points, conveniently extended hours or interior design, practices can undertake a host of different options to differentiate themselves. One other way of doing so is to promote environmentalism. In this day and age, eco-friendliness has been increasingly recognized as an important and a noble pursuit for businesses. Environmentally conscientious consumers are likely to be interested in, impressed by and persuaded to visit a dental practice that places particular emphasis on creating an eco-friendly practice.

There are many facets that go into the environmental friendliness of a dental practice. According to the Eco-Dentistry Association (EDA), any number of these habits, if implemented, can produce tremendous benefits for patients, the practice and the planet at large. This message of environmental advocacy can be conveyed from the practice to the potential new patient right at the point of marketing contact, in the type of materials that dental postcards and dental brochures are printed on. The EDA recommends printing marketing materials on recycled paper or biodegradable cardboard.

Additionally, dental practices can undergo a variety of different measures that might not be readily apparent to consumers unless they were notified. Much of this can start with the actual dental practice building itself. According to Matter Network, working in an environmentally friendly building - and conveying this information to potential new patients in dental postcards - can lead to a severe lessening of a practice's negative carbon footprint. Buildings that have been certified as promoting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards are significantly less damaging than non-certified buildings. Using motion-sensor lightings with energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps can save a substantial amount of energy. This results in financial savings for the practice and, if promoted to patients, a tremendous amount of goodwill accrued.

Other building components that can be adapted to have a green bent include plumbing fixtures, furniture and paints. Matter Network notes that dental practices that use low-flow plumbing fixtures and Energy Star appliances can attain substantial long-term savings on their utilities bills. Meanwhile, paints that contain a low amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are less damaging for the environment, as well as a patient's respiratory health. Highlighting this fact at the point of acquisition for an environmentally friendly new patient could assuage his or her uneasiness with visiting the practice in the first place. Finally, using furniture made of reclaimed hardwoods or constructed out of sustainable materials such as bamboo can have a twofold effect on patients. Not only will they be pleased to be informed about this in a marketing effort, but patients might also be drawn to the uniqueness of the interior design at a practice that thinks outside the box.

A dental practice can feature a wealth of environmentally-friendly habits, many of which can be easily conveyed to potential new patients in marketing materials. Highlighting these positive traits in dental postcards is an effective way of standing out from the pack.