When you visit the dentist, you want to be sure that the office is a clean, safe environment. Choosing Monroeville Dental gives you that assurance, and more! We are proud to maintain our office to the highest standards. We abide by all of the dental office sterilization guidelines provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Our policies protect our patients from possible infections and our staff from occupational hazards.
In 2016, the CDC released the Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Settings, and the ADA strongly encourages all dental practitioners to develop policies and protocols that abide by these recommendations. At Monroeville Dental, we are proud to adhere to these guidelines. Our Dental Sterilization Policy includes the seven steps that the CDC recommends taking to have infection control in dentistry:
1. Hand Hygiene
Regular, diligent hand washing is the most important step to prevent the spread of infection. At Monroeville Dental, we use hospital-grade disinfectant soap to wash our hands before and after every patient, when hands are visibly soiled, after we touch any possibly contaminated objects like dental tools, and before gloves and right after removing gloves.
2. Use of personal protective equipment
Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is wearable equipment that protects dental professionals from contact or exposure to infectious agents. At Monroeville Dental, we use PPE to protect ourselves and our patients. We use face masks, gloves, protective eyewear, along with face shields and protective clothing when necessary. We never reuse our disposable PPE items for multiple patients, so you know when you are sitting in the dentist’s chair, everything around you is safe and sterile.
3. Respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette
Around the office at Monroeville Dental, you’ll see signs reminding you to “cover your cough.” It’s important that you as a patient protect yourself and others by coughing or sneezing into your elbow, use and dispose of tissues, and wash your hands after you cough or sneeze. It’s even more important though, that all of the practitioners at Monroeville Dental do the same! All of our employees are educated on respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette to ensure your health and safety.
4. Sharps safety
There are some scenarios at the dentist that require the use of sharp tools, like an injection prior to tooth extraction. We take sharps safety seriously to keep you and our staff protected. We have implemented the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard for the use and disposal of sharps. We also follow all of the CDC guidelines for safe use and handling.
5. Safe injection practices
If you do require an injection when you visit Monroeville Dental, you can be sure that it will be administered safely and by strict guidelines per the ADA and CDC. Our injections are prepared using aseptic technique in a clean area, and our medication vials are cleaned with alcohol before piercing. A needle is only used on a single patient, and we use single-dose vials of medication when possible.
6. Sterilization and Disinfection of Patient-Care Items and Devices
None of our efforts to maintain a clean, safe, infection-free dental office would matter if we were not diligent about sterilizing and disinfection all of our patient-care dental tools and devices in our dental autoclave sterilizer. We rigorously follow all of the CDC guidelines for the dental sterilization process. We clean and reprocess all tools before use on another patient, per their manufacturer’s instructions, and we use a variety of monitoring tools to ensure the effectiveness of the process. Additionally, we maintain detailed records of our sterilization practices in accordance with state and local regulations.
7. Environmental Disinfection and Control
At Monroeville Dental, not only do we practice good hand hygiene, use PPE, and sterilize our equipment to the highest standard, but we also make sure that the office as a whole is disinfected regularly. We use EPA-certified, hospital-grade disinfectants to wipe down all surfaces before and after each patient. No chair, dental computer, light switch, or handle goes un-cleaned here!
Our dental sterilization policy is in place to protect you! When you visit Monroeville Dental, you can be sure that you are in a safe, clean, health-conscious environment. Call us today to find out more, and to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you soon.