Patients trust dental offices for providing a safe and healthy atmosphere as well as expect them to operate with the highest standards of dental office infection control. Following the recent COVID-19 update, here are some infection control measures that you should implement in your dental office.
Equipment and Instrument Cleaning
Dental offices should follow the specific CDC guidelines about how dental instruments and equipment should be properly cleaned and disinfected to keep high standards of infection control. Depending on the risk of infection transmission, dental equipment is classified into three categories: non-critical, semi-critical, and critical.
Non-critical instruments only come in contact with the skin. Some examples are pulse oximeters, x-ray sensors, or blood pressure cuffs, and can be reused between patients after being cleaned with low or intermediate-level disinfection.
Semi-critical instruments come into contact with mucous membranes or non-dry skin and include reusable impression trays, mirrors, and dental fillings condensers. After each use, these should be dry heat sterilized.
Critical instruments include those that encounter saliva, blood and are used to penetrate soft tissue or bone. Bone chisels, scalpels, scalers, and forceps are some examples of critical instruments. These need to be sterilized after each use with dry heat or chemical/heat vapor and autoclaving.
To implement dental office infection control, dentists, dental staff, and patients should frequently and properly wash their hands as it will help prevent the spread of any infectious disease.
Surface Contamination and Office Cleanliness Dental offices have two types of surfaces: clinical contact surfaces and housekeeping surfaces. Floors, sinks, and walls are examples of housekeeping surfaces and need to be cleaned with water and detergent solution.
The faucet, drawer handle, light switches, chairs, countertops, and other items that a dentist or patient might touch during a procedure are considered as clinical contact surfaces. If not protected by barriers, such as a plastic wrap, bags, and sheets, clinical contact surfaces should be cleaned with an EPA-registered hospital disinfectant after each use.
Team Education and Training
Dental offices must maintain training records for dental office infection control as they are required by federal and state governments. These offices should also offer ongoing training and education to all their employees to make sure that policies and procedures are being practiced correctly. The training must cover the safety guidelines for both employees and patients.
After the COVID-19 update, dental office infection control is a critical issue. However, as long as your dentist maintains all the recommended infection prevention protocols issued by the CDC, you can trust them with all your dental needs.
If you are looking for any dental emergency treatment during COVID-19, contact our leading dentists in Des Moines to schedule an appointment.