Infection Control in Dentistry Today
- Posted on: May 23 2018
In dentistry, protocols to control infection are mandated, and often because they are so routinely practiced the patient may not be aware that those protocols are taking place around them. Technically the mouth is the dirtiest place in the human body. Wearing gloves helps the doctor and staff by protecting our hands from a variety of bacteria we encounter in the course of our work. Additionally, all the surfaces in the treatment room are cleaned after each patient. Just a single generation ago dentists did not even wear gloves. Protocols for maintaining sterile environments have been put in place over the years and we are all better for it.
First and foremost for each patient everything we use that is disposable is brand new. The plastic cape we put across the patient, the cups, the draping, the papers, and so on are new and used only once.
Our instruments are not disposable and so they are properly sterilized after each patient. We go through a three step cleaning process with our instruments: we remove large debris, then we put the instruments into a special cleaning solution for 15 minutes, and then we sterilize the instruments in an autoclave machine that kills bacteria on the instruments.
Another protocol involves having the autoclave machine checked to ensure it consistently works properly. On a weekly basis we conduct special autoclave testing that includes us sending the strip in the autoclave to a special company that tests to see if all of the bacteria on the strip have been properly killed. The machine is regularly tested for functionality and efficiency so we ensure that our instruments are completely sterilized after each patient.
Infection control protocols in a dental practice are a top priority and we are pleased to make these modern advances a regular part of our daily practice for our own safety as well as the safety of our patients.
New Patients Welcome!
-Dr. Alexander Lezhansky
Office in Manhattan and Brooklyn
Posted in: General Dentistry