Infection Control: Sterilization and Disinfection Standards at Dragonfly Dental of Port Charlotte

Infection control Port Charlotte, FL

Considering the recent worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, infection control and safe practices are now a top concern in medical and dental establishments. Not only does this help protect patients from exposure to a host of potential illnesses, but it is also necessary for the health and safety of administration and staff members. With the proper techniques and procedures, dental offices can continue to care for the health and well-being of patients while lowering the risks of spreading disease.

Infection prevention at dental offices

According to the Center for Disease Control, dental professionals are expected to only use instruments and devices that have been approved by the FDA and to follow the manufacturers’ instructions for use and cleaning. In addition to maintaining a proper sterilization plan, practices should be regularly monitored, evaluated and updated according to the recommendations of

  • The American Dental Association
  • The Center for Disease Control
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • Manufacturers of specific products and devices used for treatment or sterilization

Maintaining these high standards helps ensure a higher level of patient and employee safety.

Staff education and practices

Infection control should begin with proper training for all employed at the office. This is conducted in a variety of ways, from in-person conferences and classes to online sessions. Video and reading materials are provided to the staff to increase awareness and education concerning the spread of infectious diseases and blood-borne pathogens. The resulting appropriate practices, such as frequent hand-washing and proper disposal of sharps and exposed materials, can help set the stage for successful infection prevention.

It is also important to require dental professionals to keep necessary immunizations up to date. Dental care providers are expected to wear gloves and masks at all times when working with a patient. This protection is necessary to stop the transmission of bacteria from patient to professional and vice versa.

Maintaining a healthy environment

Staff uses basic surface cleaning practices to help keep common areas safe for patients. Using a disinfecting cleaner and utilizing disposable elements wherever possible can help slow the unnecessary spread of germs. In addition to sanitizing patient rooms after every use, waiting rooms and check-in and check-out desks are also addressed multiple times each day with increased attention during a high rate of local illness.

Disinfecting instruments

When sterilizing dental tools and instruments for infection control, the necessary methods may vary based on item composition and use. Noncritical items, which only come in contact with a patient's unbroken skin and are not exposed to bodily fluids, are treated with a surface cleaner as needed. Semi-critical items, which come in contact with the mucus membranes, and critical items, which can pierce the hard and soft tissues, must be sterilized with heat. If the products used cannot withstand high-temperature sterilization, disposable alternatives are used.

Conclusion

When proper cleaning practices that meet official standards are coupled with education and monitoring, infection control is more successful in the dental office setting. By prioritizing this critical component of quality dental care, professionals can help protect everyone in the office from the unnecessary spread of germs and disease.

Request an appointment here: https://dragonflydentalportcharlotte.com or call Dragonfly Dental of Port Charlotte at (941) 676-9225 for an appointment in our Port Charlotte office.

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