Infection and disease control are always important for dentists, but now with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting millions across the world, it’s more pertinent than ever that dentists take great care in their sanitization and safety protocols. Furthermore, dentists should implement new precautions recommended by the CDC to keep themselves and their patients safe and healthy during the Coronavirus health crisis.
A conscientious and thorough sanitization procedure with the goal of proper infection control allow dental practices to stop disease from spreading and potentially creating devastating consequences for patients and staff. By wiping out germs along with the bacteria they carry, dentists keep themselves, their staff, and their patients from contracting serious communicable diseases that can wreak havoc.
Here are a few of the ways that dentists keeps patients healthy and safe during and after treatment. The steps that we follow at our practice are:
Obtaining Patient Medical Histories
It’s no fun to fill out the multitude of medical patient forms that your dentist asks you to complete prior to your dental treatment. However, keeping an accurate and current medical record and gathering a patient’s medical history enables your dentist to determine the appropriate precautions to take. Extra cautionary steps may need to be taken when treating some patients in order to prevent the spread of communicable diseases such as, Hepatitis, Herpes, Staphylococci, Respiratory infections, and Lymphatic system disorders.
Use of Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is designed to not only help prevent the spread of infections, but also keeps the patient safe from injury during treatment. Surgical-grade gloves and masks keep blood and saliva that may contain disease from coming in contact with skin and vulnerable areas of the face, while goggles /glasses will keep eyes covered and safe from debris. Uniforms and medical gowns should always be thoroughly washed as they may come into contact with bodily fluids.
Vaccination Enforcement for Dental Staff
Dentists and the practice staff members should regularly be vaccinated to prevent spreading disease to patients. Vaccinations play an important role in lessening the likelihood of disease in dentists and other staff members, adding a blanket of protection to patients who are being treated at the practice. Some of the most important vaccinations that dentists and staff should be treated for include Chicken Pox, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Flu, Measles, Tetanus and Pertussis.
Regularly Disinfecting and Sterilizing All Instruments and Equipment
Powerful cleansers that are created and approved specifically for dental environments will be used to thoroughly disinfect all areas in treatment rooms, before and after each patient is treated. All surfaces should be wiped down and disinfected including the treatment chair, instruments, equipment and countertops. Dentists and staff also have special receptacles to dispose of biohazardous materials. All of these steps help to eliminate the threat of bacteria for the patient and staff.
Proper Hand Washing Techniques
Hand washing techniques are of the utmost importance and are one of the first and most potent defenses when halting the spread of disease, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control). Dentists and all staff should wash hands before and after treating a patient, before and after wearing gloves, and after touching anything that has possibly been contaminated.
Procedures Cedar Walk Dentistry Enforces to Keep Patients Healthy
Cedar Walk Dentistry always prioritizes the safety, health, and well-being of our patients above all else. We go above and beyond when it comes to the implementation of disease prevention and we follow strict protocol even when there isn’t a pandemic present.
In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, we are taking additional measures to keep our patients safe and healthy:
Please contact our office to schedule an appointment in a safe and sterilized environment today! If you are experiencing a dental emergency, please do not hesitate to call our office immediately.