Infection control in the dental industry has come a long way in the past few decades. As recently as the 1970s, dental instruments were scrubbed by hand with brushes before being placed in open baskets for sterilization. After cleaning, instruments were stored unwrapped, either on open trays or in drawers. Personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks were unheard of at the time.
The spread of infection was an occupational hazard—for patients as well as for practitioners. The spread of diseases such as hepatitis B actually occurred, with one infected clinician being held responsible for spreading it to patients during the seventies and eighties.
By the mid-1980s, there was more awareness about infection prevention practices in the dental office, and this is when the Centers for Disease Control published its first guidelines.
Infection Control at Our Orlando Dental Practice
At Hillcrest Dental, we prioritize infection control and take the necessary precautions to protect our patients as well as our team members. We believe in following rigorous sterilization and infection controls that go well beyond the minimal standards that are required for the dental practice setting.
To reduce the chance of cross-contamination of disease from patient to patient and patient to clinician, we take the following measures:
- Every one of our team members wears a face mask when actively taking care of patients. By wearing these masks, we can prevent the spread of bacteria.
- With every new patient, our team members use a new set of rubber gloves. Gloves are used only once and disposed of immediately after patient care is complete.
- All counters and surfaces are disinfected regularly in treatment rooms between patients. The same is done throughout any public area in the practice.
- All equipment used in our treatment rooms, including handpieces, air blowers, and suction, is disinfected by heat sterilization. We meet or exceed sterilization regulations set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- We continually provide continuing education for our team members. Viruses, bacteria, and other conditions that threaten the health of our patients and clinicians are always changing, so it’s crucial that we stay current and informed. This enables us to provide the best patient protection possible.
We Invite Your Questions
If you have questions about any of our sterilization protocols, we would welcome the opportunity to talk about them with you. Feel free to give us a call, and we can go over them in more detail. We want you to feel confident and comfortable when you bring your family in to see us. We care about your oral health and your overall wellbeing!
Call us for general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry services. It’s easy to make an appointment!