Infection Control Practices in Our Office
At our office, the health and safety of our clients/patients and employees are top of mind amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). We are here to serve you, so we want to let you know how we are to operate safely and effectively. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the coronavirus.
Steps We’re Taking
We are strictly monitoring information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and federal, state, and local agencies to help ensure the actions we’re taking are in line with the latest CDC recommendations and guidance.
As a precautionary step, we have several hand sanitizer areas in our office for use by us and our clients/patients, and we are conducting enhanced cleaning in our office as needed.
As any properly run dental office in this state, we regularly follow the infection control procedures spelled out in the California Code of Regulations. We review and update our minimum infection control standards every year. A copy of this is conspicuously posted in our office.
All instruments are in good working order and sterilized before every use. They are first run through an ultrasonic unit, then air dried and packaged for sterilization. A chemical indicator is used to confirm that essential sterilization parameters have been met. External indicators on each package also verify that the instruments have been sterilized.
Proper functioning of the sterilizer is verified weekly by a third party through the use of a biological indicator. These test results are documented and maintained for 12 months.
We fill our dental unit waterlines with distilled water at the start of each day. The waterlines are purged with air and flushed with water for at least 2 minutes before we attach hand pieces, scalers, and air water syringe tips. These lines and devices are thoroughly flushed between each patient, as well.
Single-use disposable items such as prophylaxis brushes, saliva ejectors, air/water syringe tips, and gloves are used for one patient only and then properly discarded. All non-critical items such as the dental chair, light, and countertops are wiped down, cleaned and disinfected with a Cal/EPA-registered hospital low-level disinfectant that is labeled effective against HBV and HIV, as well as a tuberculocide.
The clean, white towels we use to protect our patients’ eyes from any particulate – including dead or diseased tissue – that may become airborne during a procedure are used once only and then thoroughly sanitized before being used again.