Infection control efforts are important in the health care industry, as these prevent the spread of contamination that could lead to the outbreak of diseases. Even in the dental industry, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed recommendations that dentists should follow to promote the safety of their patients. Here are some of their reminders:
How Infection Takes Place
Microorganisms can either spread by direct or indirect contact. Patients can inhale, ingest, or come into contact with bacteria, viruses, or fungi from the dental clinic or from the equipment they use. These can also be airborne, causing viral influenza to transfer through respiratory droplets. Anybody could be at risk when the patient or the dentist coughs, sneezes, or talks continuously, so wearing a facemask is ideal.
Dental Tools and Equipment
Dentists should use premier dental products for each patient to make sure that everything is safe and hygienic. Disposable tools are disposable for a reason; they should be disposed of so infectious bacteria won’t transfer to the next patient.
Dental instruments, such as needles and sterile syringes, or anything that enters the circulatory and vascular system, should undergo sterilization procedures before being ready for use. Tools that touch the mucous membrane, like dental dams and thermometers, should also undergo disinfection procedures approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Dental Office Setting
Regardless of how clean the tools and equipment are, disease can still spread if the work area isn’t clean. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities (2008), disinfection is necessary to remove pathogenic microorganisms on inanimate objects.
From the dental chair to the countertops, dentists should see to it that they’ve decontaminated every corner of the dental office before accepting patients. The environment could also transmit microorganisms through skin contact because these aren’t visible to the naked eye.
The well-being of the dentists, staff, and patients should be the main priority of every dental clinic. It’s important to keep such sanitary procedures in mind to guarantee that each procedure is safe.