You have probably heard that the human mouth contains a crazy amount of germs, and since your dentist works on many mouths every day, you will want to be sure that you are safe-guarded against infections. Here at Holland Dental, we take all the possible precautions against the spread of germs.
Your dentist should be happy to answer your questions about hygiene and creating a safe environment in the dental office. A proud dentist will gladly show you some of the precautions used to keep patients healthy.
At the same time, it is important to let your dentist know about any changes in your own health, in order to help him or her suggest the best treatment options for your needs.
Some of the basic procedures that go a long way to keeping you healthy, include your dental team not only wearing masks and gloves, but still regularly washing their hands.
Here are some of the things you can look for when you visit your dentist’s office, and you want to be sure it it clean and safe.
1. Office Hygiene
The office and waiting room will give you a good idea of your dentist’s attitude to cleanliness and hygiene. Countertops should be clean and clutter-free, as clutter makes it difficult to sterilize areas. Furniture should be kept clean too.
Ideally, the office and operatory should have hospital-grade linoleum floors that can be sterilized, rather than carpets.
2. Operatory Hygiene
In the operatory (the room with the dental chair), hygiene is of utmost importance. This room should contain a soap dispenser that is frequently used by the dentist and assistant, in addition to them wearing gloves. After every patient, and after leaving the room, they should take new gloves from a dispenser.
Needles and biological waste should be disposed in special containers, and your dentist should use new devices like these on each new patient.
Instruments should be sterilized. Reputable dentists with their patient’s hygiene foremost in mind are happy to provide autoclave validation. Every week or month, bacteria from the sterilization machine is sent to a company that analyzes the package to ensure that the sterilization machine is working properly. It is also called ‘biological monitoring’. Instruments should not be lying on a dirty countertop, but from a sealed autoclave bag. Some of these bags change color when the instruments have been properly sterilized.
The operatory should also be cleaned after every patient.
Following good hygiene practices in the dental office and operatory will ensure that germs don’t spread from one patient to the next.