As dental practices are getting busier day by day, they are becoming more vulnerable to one of the most serious challenges: to sustain or augment efficiency while guaranteeing patient safety as a top priority.
At times, this goal seems to unrealistic to achieve. However, with advancement in the dental processing equipment and technology, dental practices have been empowered drastically.
A cleaning and sterilization process that meets the guidelines laid down by American Dental Association (ADA) and Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is fundamental to an effectual infection control program. However, to ensure alignment to these guiding principles, a thorough understanding of proper methods, materials, and devices is needed.
However, a major concern that remains hard-hitting for patients today is how to tell if a dentist follows a good infection control procedure? To uncomplicate things, some of the most valid indicators are stated below:
Use of Infection Transmission Barriers
One of the first things that you should assess your dentist and its team of assistants is for their use of infection transmission barriers. Some of the most basic and vital barriers are:
- Protective eyewear for both, the patient and the dentist;
- Face mask and,
- Disposable gown or lab coat.
While you may find these things to be very petty and unimportant, a dentist who misses out on the basics is more likely to neglect important things such as the sterilizing the dental equipment and sanitizing the dental chair.
Unopened Dental Instruments
While you are resting on the dental chair waiting to receive your treatment, be watchful of the dental equipment that the dentist uses on you. If the dental instruments were open prior to your arrival, know that they are not sterile anymore. This is because once the instruments are opened, they get exposed to the surroundings which is contaminated and polluted. This is in form of bacteria present in the air or spread in the environment from infected people nearby.
All Needles Are Syringes Must Be Discarded
The most hygienic and secure dental offices follow the practice of discarding needles and syringes in a puncture-resistant sharps container. Usually available in red or white color, they are often mounted on the walls of the sitting room. If you fail to find any, ask your dentist or his/her assistant to show you one.
Nevertheless, if the dental clinic lacks a puncture-resistant sharps container, then know that it could be endangering thousands of people – the infected needles are probably being dumped in the public garbage system.
Ask Them about Their Infection Control Policies
Many dental offices demonstrate their infection control policies either in shape of a sign on the wall or a notice or brochure in the waiting area. However, if the information is not readily available to you, try to find out by asking questions. Your health is of prime importance; hence a dental office that follows proper infection control protocols will be ready and willing to share this information with its patients to put their minds at ease and ensure complete satisfaction.
For us, patient safety and security is a top priority, in addition to providing quick, reliable and affordable dental services to patients across Germantown.
From teeth whitening services to denture cleaning, we are the only dental clinic in Germantown guaranteeing patient hygiene through effective sterilization processes.