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HOW WE PROTECT YOU AT EACH DENTAL VISIT 

Your safe care is our mission!!

Guidelines Humorous Side of Infection Control
Office Protection Protocols Staff Safety Issues
Protection Updates  

 

We try to meet or exceed guidelines established by the Center for Disease Control, the American Dental Association and Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s regulations so you can be assured of your safety when coming to our office for your dental health care.  

     We want to take this opportunity to reassure you that in this practice we are concerned about our patients and employee’s health and safety.  We use stringent infection control protocols, products and procedures in our office.  They are the foundation of making our practice as infection-free as we can be.

     You may not be aware that sterilization and other infection control precautions take place, because many of these procedures occur out of your view.   

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    Our office uses the following rigorous quality controls for each and every patient to prevent the transmission of the AIDS, common cold, pneumonia, respiratory viruses’ tuberculosis, herpes, hepatitis A, B, C and other infectious diseases:  

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All of our employees receive mandated hepatitis B vaccinations

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They attend yearly OSHA Update workshop.  We cover OSHA issues at every training session.  Current infection control articles are placed on the communication board and are read and signed off by each staff member.

All of our instruments are scrubbed, ultrasonically cleaned, labeled, bagged and sterilized for your protection

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All dental instruments/handpieces are sterilized and disinfected before each use by: being sprayed with disinfectant; hand scrubbed with hot water and soap to remove surface material.

Each bagged instrument is labeled, dated and signed before sterilization.

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All dental instruments are placed in an enzymatic ultrasonic sterilization and than packaged in individualized sealed and dated bags, sterilized in our Statim and remain packaged for storage to protect them from environmental contamination after sterilization. Each bag has a heat indicator strip that changes color when the instruments are sterile.  They are not opened until we use them at chairside. You may ask for the dated taps used during your procedure.

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All heat-tolerant items are sterilized at very high temperatures by steam under pressure in the statim/autoclave. Tests are run weekly to ensure the effectiveness of our sterilization procedures. Weekly spore testing is done. The desired outcome of biological testing is the killing of the spore challenge.

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We sterilize all instruments.

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Needles/scalpels blades are discarded after use in keeping with OSHA requirements. 

All our instruments are hand scrubbed, ultrasonically cleaned, individually bagged and sterilized in our statims.

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We wear gloves, surgical facemasks and protective eyewear as barrier techniques that are changed after each patient which are designed to prevent the spread of infection.  We change our clinical attire as appropriate.

The look of protection

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We protect you with protective eyewear, mouthwash and disposable napkins.

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All surfaces and equipment in the treatment room such as chairs, mirrors, counter tops, drawer handles, x-ray units heads, dental cart, and light handles are disinfected three times.  Once with a spray disinfectant, next with a very strong “one minute” wipe disinfect cloth and lastly we wipe these surfaces with  disinfectant towel.  

These are high power santicloth wipes used to disinfect contaminated surfaces
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We take an initial, comprehensive medical history of each patient, then update with each visit. 

We use stringent infection control protocols, products and procedures in our office

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 All staff washes their hands with antimicrobial soap before putting on gloves, between patients, after removing gloves, needle stick or cut, and restroom or eating. We also use alcohol-based hand cleaner to cut down on bacteria transmission according to the new hand hygiene guidelines by the CDC.*

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Gloves are changed between each patient and each time they leave the room.  

We use disposable water syringe tips and covers.

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We use disposable items wherever possible such as air/water syringe tips, prophy angles, needles because they can not be sterilized appropriately.

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Some equipment is covered with protective covers used for extra protection that are replaced after each patient.

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All our blood and tissue waste is separated and bagged separately as required by law, and disposed of by Regional West Medical Center.

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High-volume evacuation, proper patient positioning and rubber dams are used to limit contamination by splatter .

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Each treatment room, sterilizing area and lab are thoroughly disinfected after each patient, at the end of the day and at the end of the week.

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All materials used in cleaning are laundered according to OSHA standards .

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Clean technique is used for obtaining supplies from closed drawers without contaminating everything inside the drawer.

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Water/air lines are flushed at the beginning of each day for 2-4 minutes and after treatments each patient.  Disinfect solution is run through the lines.

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Water quality and Biofilms-Scientific reports have not linked illness with water passing through dental water lines. Our office follows the infections control guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association.  Biofilms are microscopic communities that consist primarily of naturally occurring water bacteria and fungi. Biofilms form thin layers on virtually all surface such as the thin tubes used to deliver water during treatment.  These common microbes or germs also accumulate inside objects like showerheads and faucets.  

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 Equipment has routine maintenance checks.  Internal workshops are held to keep current of the latest procedures and products.  Our staff reads the latest monthly infection control articles posted on our communication board.

Rubber dams are used for your safety

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A rubber dam, which is a thin sheet of latex, is used whenever necessary to reduce the amount of bacterial spray-back which occurs when dental procedures are performed

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A new vacuum system provides proper disposal of amalgam waste.

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A new air compressor has been installed to comply with the OSHA and CDC regulations of 2004.

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A solids separator is used in each area to ensure amalgam waste will not enter the city sewer system.

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New upgraded ventilation system has been installed to improve air quality.

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Sterile gloves and water will be used with all oral surgery procedures.

We have recently installed  a filter system to  improve the purity of the water supplying our dental equipment because we  consider your safety to be of prime concern.

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Digital x-rays...benefits to you:

bulletReduced exposure to radiation
bulletLess waiting time
bulletShorter appointments
bulletInvolved in co-diagnosis
bulletBetter understanding of treatment
bulletEnvironmentally friendly

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          By following infection control guidelines we can offer you a comfortable, safe and protected environment in which to offer you quality dental care.  If you have any question or concerns about our infection control please feel free to share these concerns with us. 

Humorous Side of Infection Control in dental offices.

Travis cleaning up after patient care
Hospital level sterilization

Protection Updates:

Hand Hygiene

New CPR Guidelines

Hand Washing Update

Henry the Hand's 4 Principles of Hand Awareness:

bullet Wash your hands when they are dirty and before eating.
bullet Do not cough into your hands.
bullet Do not sneeze into your hands.
bulletAbove all do not put your fingers into your eyes, nose or mouth.

A new report in Pediatrics Magazine reports that in a five-month study of nearly 300 Boston-area families, those who regularly rubbed on the alcohol-based sanitizing gels had a 59% reduced risk of gastro-intestinal infections. (Source: Pediatrics)
 

 

Hand Care and Hygiene

METHOD AGENT:
Use proper amount
TIME  
Routine hand washing Water and plain soap 15 sec. Hand Washing
Routine hand antisepsis Water and antibacterial soap 15 sec.
Surgical hand antisepsis applied to hands and forearms Water and soap containing antibacterial agent 2-5 min. Hands
Antiseptic hand rub Alcohol-based hand rub; allow to dry before donning gloves 15 sec.
"Your healthy intact skin is a vital barrier against potential damage from abrasion, chemical irritants, and infectious microorganisms. Proper hand hygiene is the best way to reduce disease transmission in dental practice. According to the CDC guidelines, alcohol-based hand rubs provide faster, more effective antiseptic action than traditional hand washing on visibly clean hands.”
Curt Hamann, M.D.
President/CEO, SmartHealth, Inc.
 
  Smart Practice Newsletter 12-05

Hand Washing Update

Wash hands often to prevent spread of disease.Both men and women don't wash their hands as often as they say they do. About nine in 10 American adults say they wash their hands after using a public restroom, but only about 8 in 10 actually do so. Women are more likely to wash their hands than men, but the study shows that both sexes were guilty of not being as diligent about hand washing as they said they were. Contrary to what most people believe, experts say cold and flu viruses are spread by hands more often than through the air from sneezing. (Source: Harris Interactive, August 2005)

 

SARS & Dental Offices

There has been no reported transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) to dental health care workers, nor is there any evidence that SARS can be transmitted by aerosol-generating dental procedures, reports the ADA Council on ScientificAffairs

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 An Emergency kit is available for your safety.  4 baby aspirin (each baby aspirin is 81 mgs)  will provide the same as regular aspirin  dose is 325 mg in emergency.

Dental OSHA News Updates...daily!

Resources:

New regulations:

     Needle stick forms.
OSHA Web-dentistry 3/04  Specific detailed guidelines
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5217a1.htm
CDC MMWR Report December 2003/vol 52/No. RR-17
CDC-Oral health---2003 regulations ; Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report  ; ADA
Association of Professional Infection Control 
Infectious Diseases Society 
Occupational Safety & Health Administration --Bloodborne Pathogens Standard
Office of Surgeon General
Organization for Safety & Asepsis Procedures
Hand Hygiene Guide, Dental Products Report , pages 72-80 July 2003

1. UCLA interactive website to help in the management of healthcare workers exposed to patient body fluids. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/hip/uclaweb.htm
2.Updated information about the 2001-02 influenza season.
3.Information about control of rubella outbreaks.

February 06, 2008

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PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
This site is privately and personally sponsored, funded and supported by Dr. Peterson.  We have no outside funding.
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