Due to COVID-19, many dental offices across the country have been closed to everything but emergency dental services. Now, practices are slowly opening back up to regular treatment procedures. We want our patients to know that they can feel safe coming to our practice. Dr. Gianni Francschi of Smiles of Trinity Family Dentistry, a dentist in Trinity, FL, discusses infection control in our dental practice.
Following the CDC and ADA Guidelines
These two agencies have been working together since 1993 to develop and update infection control and sterilization guidelines for the dental industry. We’ve been following these throughout the existence of our practice. A document created by the CDC gives dental practices tools and checklists to follow to ensure that they’re abiding by the best practices for the industry.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE is something that’s necessary to protect both our staff and our patients. Disposable gloves are at the top of the list in importance. Gloves are changed between each patient and when other surfaces like the computer are touched. Depending on the dental services being performed, gloves may be changed multiple times with one patient. Proper handwashing protocols are followed before the gloves are put on.
Other PPE is used as well. Bibs are given to patients and protective clothing is given to staff so bodily fluids don’t get on clothing or skin. Eye protection is standard for dental practices and COVID-19 has made this stricter. Medical personnel is wearing full-face shields to ensure that nothing is passing between staff and patients.
Disinfection and Sterilization Techniques
Due to the nature of some dental procedures, dental tools occasionally have to be reused. This means that the highest quality of sterilization must be reached, particularly on high-risk tools like those used for oral surgery or periodontal therapy. This is achieved with heat sterilization. Heat is also used to sterilize lower-risk tools that are able to withstand high temperatures.
Other dental tools have disposable options. This way patients know that they’re getting a new set at the start of their appointment. For surface cleanings, like for blood pressure cuffs or dental chairs, they’re thoroughly wiped down with disinfectant. We also do this in high-traffic areas like the reception desk or various surfaces in the waiting room.
With COVID-19, things have become more stringent. We’re limiting the number of people that can be in our waiting room at one time. We may ask you to wait in your car until we come to get you. Temperature checks and answers to COVID-19-specific questions may be required before you’re allowed entry to the office. You may also be required to sanitize your hands when you come into the building.
Your Dentist in Trinity, Florida
We’re taking all of the steps possible to make sure you can get the dental care you need safely. Call us or schedule an appointment online!