Infection Control in Dental Offices – How It Works
A dental clinic is a busy place and there are lots of opportunities for bacteria to spread if you aren’t careful. But we pride ourselves on our clean environment and on the defense we have against possible infections. Want to learn more about how we control infection in our dental office? Let’s dive in.
Sterilize the Instruments
Firstly, we make sure to sterilize all the instruments we use carefully and correctly. Some of the instruments we sterilize include surgical tools or practically anything that contacts an oral surface (i.e. your mouth). When it comes to sterilization, we take our responsibility quite seriously.
In most cases, we use an autoclave dental sterilization machine that produces superheated steam. It can effectively sterilize the surfaces of most dental tools by eliminating bacteria. We’ll also sometimes use chemical treatments, which are dispensed in a vapor. Other times, we might use dry heat to thoroughly sterilize our tools.
A dental clinic in proper order is one that’s hard to infect. Because of this, we pride ourselves on maintaining rigorous standards when it comes to cleanliness and sterilization procedures. We follow CDC disinfection guidelines in accordance with our state rules. Doing this makes sure that all our employees know what to do and how to keep themselves and their work environment clean. No matter how many patients we see in a day, our cleanliness standards ensure that infection risk is kept at a minimum.
We also keep extensive logs when it comes to our instrument sterilization. Over sterilizing dental instruments, again and again, is a waste of time, but logging also helps us keep track of which instruments still need to be thoroughly cleaned before they can be used again.
Even better, logging all our sterilization procedures helps us keep an eye on our current equipment levels and whether we need to buy more sterilization stuff, like cleaning chemicals. All in all, logs keep the ship sailing smoothly and make constant cleanliness and easier state for us to maintain.
New employees and experienced dentists alike have to go through training, though in varying amounts. The key to good training is ensuring that anyone who visits our offices is kept safe and comfortable, no matter what they come to us with. Dental hygienists and dental assistants in our office are especially well-vetted in terms of their training, as they spend the most time with the majority of our patients and interact with our tools the most.
Our experienced clinic members still have to go through regular training regimens to make sure that they are up-to-date on their new procedures and cleanliness routines. It’s not enough in our dental office to do something once; you have to become a master to make sure that infections aren’t let loose by accident.
We Wear PPE
PPE, or personal protective equipment, is something we always wear regardless of procedure. These are things like masks, eyewear, and gloves. They all protect us from bacteria that our patients might bring in the office and protect our patients from our own bacteria at the same time. This way, everyone stays clean and even procedures with lots of fluids don’t end up risking infection. We practice extremely strict PPE rules to make sure that no one accidentally gives someone else an infection.
All in all, we’re fully committed to controlling infections (and preventing them from rising in the first place) in our office. We strive to create a clean and safe environment for everyone who stops by, so don’t hesitate to ask us some more questions on your next visit. Give us a call or use our website to schedule your next appointment; we’re looking forward to meeting with you!