With COVID-19, sterilization and disinfection of dental practices are more important than ever. Lowcountry Dental Center, your dentist in Bluffton, SC, wants patients to know that they’re protected by our dental sterilization protocol as full business resumes at our practice. Below includes more details of dental sterilization practices as recommended and followed here by the CDC and ADA.
Meeting All CDC and ADA Guidelines
Since 1993, the CDC and ADA have teamed up to work on infection control guidelines for dental practices. They’re constantly being updated as we’re constantly learning of new and improved methods to keep things sterile. A 2016 guide released by the CDC is the go-to document for dental practices, offering checklists and other tools to ensure that our dental office is meeting the most rigorous standards.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE is designed to keep both our staff and our patients safe. As is standard, all of our workers wear disposable gloves. They’re changed between patients and when touching specific surfaces, sometimes multiple times during the same procedure. Protective clothing is worn to avoid any contact with bodily fluids. Eyewear is also worn.
With COVID-19, these procedures have just been increased. It’s recommended that medical professionals wear a full-face shield to ensure complete protection from any bodily fluids. Handwashing techniques before and after wearing gloves. Though gloves are meant to protect the hands, handwashing is always required and provides extra protection.
Sterilization and Disinfection of Tools and Instruments
With dental care, there are some instruments and devices that have to be reused between patients. This makes the sterilization of them extremely important. High-risk tools, such as those used for root canal therapy and surgical procedures, are sterilized thoroughly with heat. Semi-critical items that come into contact with the mouth, like mirrors, are also treated thoroughly with heat, as they’re tolerant of heat and it’s the best sterilization form.
Surface areas throughout the office are wiped down, such as the dental chair and other things you just come in contact with. The reception area is included in this. For some dental instruments, disposables are used so that it’s guaranteed that patients get something completely new each time.
With COVID-19, some more intense practices with sterilization and distancing may be done. Patients may be required to sanitize their hands and get their temperature checked upon entering the office. Chairs may be removed in the waiting area to space out seating and the number of people allowed in there at one time may be limited.
Your Bluffton, South Carolina Dentist’s Dental Sterilization Protocol
Our number one priority is the safety of both the members of our team and our patients. Call us or schedule an appointment online!