My name is Dr. Namrata Patel and I actually go by Dr. Nammy. The name of my practice is called Green Dentistry. We are located in San Francisco, California in the heart of Union Square.

I was actually born in my village of eight houses in India, in my living room. My mom was actually milking the cows and she went into labor, so she had me. We even had our own bio-dynamic sustainable garden where we got our vegetables from.

I come from a very organic background, very holistic living, just grew up being very, very holistic in my lifestyle. The aspect of green came because the religion that I follow is called Jainism. The basis behind that is conserving our resources, whether that’s with food, that’s with money, even our resources like waste.

One of the things that I saw in dentistry was a lot of waste and it was really sad. Plastic everywhere. When I was in dental school we had to plastic up everything and it was horrific because it does not disintegrate. So when I got out I wanted to look at alternative ways. What can I use so I’m not using plastics and I’m not using toxic chemicals? I really wanted to stay away from that as much as I could.

Hence the idea of Green. The more I learned, the more I found. There are so many great alternatives out there, especially with technology. Technology has evolved so much so that for digital x-rays there’s no fixers. Instead of disposable bibs, we actually use washcloths that we can wash and reuse onsite.

Instead of using chemicals and things like that to polish patients’ teeth, we actually have our own paste that we actually use. That works really well. There’s no glycerin in it or anything like that. Even our mouthwash — I’ve made my own — does not have any chemicals in it. It’s basically natural oils that are designed to help with the gums. It’s really just going back to the basics.

I’m writing a book to help educate people on how they can live longer lives by keeping their teeth. Not just by keeping their teeth, but also to enjoy the quality of life. I know that I’m here for a purpose and my purpose is dentistry. It is to help people live longer, joyful lives.