With COVID-19, dental offices across the country were closed to everything but emergency dentistry. Now, things are slowly opening up and we’re able to go back to providing regular dental services. We want our patients to know that they’re safe in our office. Dr. Ed Lazer, a dentist in Baltimore, MD, discusses infection control in our dental office.
Following the Guidelines of the CDC and ADA
Since 1993, these two agencies have been working together to develop and implement infection control and sterilization guidelines for the dental industry. They’re continually working to update them, ensuring that the latest techniques and technologies are being used. A CDC document contains tools and checklists for dental workers to follow to make sure they’re following the proper protocols.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE is necessary to protect both patients and staff. One of the most important components of PPE is disposable gloves. Gloves are changed between every patient, as well as after touching surfaces like the computer. Depending on the dental services being performed, gloves may be changed multiple times with one patient. Proper handwashing techniques are followed before putting on gloves.
At our dental office, we’ve made 3-D printed masks for every member of our team. They seal directly to each staff member’s face and have the filter from a regular mask on them to ensure safety. We do require all of our patients to wear a mask into our office for treatment. Our staff will also be wearing proper protective clothing to ensure no contamination from bodily fluids.
Disinfection and Sterilization Techniques
Due to the nature of dental procedures, some tools have to be reused between patients. This means that the highest measures must be taken for sterilization. For high-risk tools like those used for oral surgery or gum disease treatment, they’re sterilized with heat. This method is also used for lower-risk tools, as many of them are able to withstand the high temperatures required.
For other dental tools, they’re either completely disposable or have crucial parts that are. This lets the patient know that they’re getting something new at the beginning of their appointment. For surface sterilization, such as the dental chairs in our exam rooms, we’re using BioBlasting solutions. This product has been proven to be effective against the virus that causes COVID-19. High-traffic areas are always heavily disinfected.
With COVID-19, extra precautions are being taken. Our office now has medical-grade air filtration in each of our exam rooms. We’re also limiting the number of people that are in our office and waiting room at one time. You’ll only be allowed to enter the waiting room when we’ve contacted you. Temperature checks and medical questionnaires will be required before entry. We’ll also require you to use hand sanitizer upon entering.
Your Dentist in Baltimore, Maryland
We want our patients to know that their safety is our top priority. Call us or schedule an appointment online for a safe, sterile dental appointment.