Infection is a potential problem in any medical setting, and your dentist’s office is no different. Preventing the transmission of viruses and bacteria between patients is essential if both staff and patients are to remain healthy, particularly when some of the communicable diseases around, such as HIV, hepatitis, and tuberculosis are particularly dangerous. As a result, any good dental practice has proper infection control practices in place to ensure the cleanliness and safety of their premises.
Here at Jupiter Dentistry, we are fully committed to the safety of our patients at all times. As such, we have implemented strict measures which are in place to protect you from risk when you visit us. Here’s what you need to know about how we avoid the spread of infection in our dentist office.
We carefully consider patient records
Our patient records are extremely important. Not only do they enable us to track the health of your teeth and what treatments you have had carried out, but they also tell us vital information about your health and wellbeing, including whether you have any infectious disease that we should be aware of, or if you are at particularly high risk of being affected by an infection. Specific diseases that are highly infectious include:
- Some respiratory infections
- Lymphatic system disorders
We can use this information to make important decisions about your treatment and ongoing care.
Disinfection and sterilization procedures
There are many different tools and equipment used in dentistry. While some are disposable and can be disposed of after each patient, a large number – such as tweezers, drills, and even your dentist’s chair, must be used across multiple patients. For this reason, we have strict procedures in place relating to the disinfection and sterilization of our equipment and office – including things like countertops, door handles, lamps, and trays, as well as more obvious handheld tools used inside your mouth. In addition to this, we ensure that we properly dispose of single-use items and those which carry a biohazard risk such as needles and syringes.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
If you see us wearing gowns, gloves, and masks, rest assured that this is for your protection as well as our own. We also have operating procedures in place that refer to the use of personal protective equipment, which must be worn when we are working directly with patients. These include gloves, surgical masks, protective eyewear, and coveralls. These will prevent the cross-contamination of saliva, blood, or mucus – all substances which regularly occur in dentistry. All gloves are removed and disposed of after each patient, with hands thoroughly washed between.
You almost certainly know by now just how important hand hygiene is when it comes to preventing the spread of disease. This means that as dentists, we wash our hands A LOT! This includes:
- Before we treat patients
- After we treat patients
- Before we put on any gloves
- After we remove gloves
- After touching anything that could potentially have been contaminated by bodily fluids, no matter how slight the risk
- When we arrive at work in the morning
- When we go to lunch or take a break
- Before leaving our dental practice
- And, obviously, any time we visit the washroom!
Wearing gloves alone isn’t sufficient to keep our patients safe as even the tiniest, a potentially unseen hole could allow an infection to spread. So, if you see us washing our hands frequently, please know it is with your safety in mind!
In line with the recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, our team makes sure that they are up to date with the vaccinations needed to eliminate the risk of some of the most serious, preventable diseases. These include vaccinations against:
- Hepatitis B
- MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella)
- Seasonal Flu
- TDAP (tetanus, Diptheria, and pertussis)
If you have any questions about our commitment to vaccinations, please don’t hesitate to speak to our team.
For more information on how we avoid the spread of infection in our dentist office, or to speak to us with any questions that you have, please contact our office.