This is the case whether you’re preparing for a serious dental procedure or routine check-up. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have established procedures to help prevent the transmission of dangerous infections. (Some of them include HIV, hepatitis C, and hepatitis B.) To ensure that you are in a safe setting when attaining dental services, make sure that you look for the following signs:
The most common means through which diseases are spread is through the hands. All health care providers, including the dentist and dental hygienist, should thoroughly wash their hands prior to seeing each patient. Always feel comfortable asking an office representative whether the facility’s professionals wash their hands regularly. Also remember that you should be washing your own hands. The CDC reports that frequent hand washing prevents the transmission of the flu and colds.
Part of the infection control process involves the use of protective equipment. Each member of the dental staff should utilize the appropriate gear, and this will typically include the following:
The disposable protective gear items should be discarded after each use. Additionally, the treatment staff should always wash their hands and use new gloves before seeing the next patient.
Any non-disposable instrument used by the dental staff must be cleaned and sterilized before the next patient is served. Be sure to ask the dentist what type of sterilization process is used to optimize infection control. Also request to see the dental facility’s sterilization area. Disposable items such as needles should never be reused.
Protecting The Surface Of Equipment
The examining and operating rooms of a dental facility will feature equipment with surfaces. Examples include:
- dental chair
- instrument tray
- drawer handles
- dental light
In some cases, a dental facility’s representatives may keep these surface areas covered with protective covers. These covers are replaced each time a new patient enters the office. If protective covers are not used, you should ensure that the aforementioned surfaces are being cleaned regularly. Feel free to ask your dentist what types of infection control procedures are being used to ensure that the surfaces of all dental equipment pose no health and safety risks to you and other patients.
Good Oral Hygiene Can Prevent Infection
While ensuring that you attain dental services in a facility that utilizes effective infection control procedures is important, good oral hygiene is equally important. Keeping your teeth and mouth clean is one of the best ways to ensure that bacteria, plaque, and other forms of debris do not make you susceptible to infection. There are several oral hygiene strategies you can implement to prevent infection. Some of them include:
- Brushing right after a meal. While many people brush their teeth twice a day, this isn’t necessarily the best way to prevent infection and disease. Rather, try to brush your teeth after large meals. It is at this point that food particles can begin to collect in your mouth, and removing them immediately can decrease your susceptibility to infection.
- Flossing regularly. Less than half of Americans floss every day. Make sure that you do. Removing the debris that is not eliminated through the brushing process can prevent plaque and bacteria build-up, thereby optimizing the infection control process.
- Addressing minor issues immediately. If you notice any minor issues that are out of the ordinary, see your dentist immediately. Even though something like sensitivity to cold or slight bleeding of the gums may seem minor, these issues can escalate into something serious. Nipping things in the bud helps prevent the likelihood of an infection.
Don’t Delay: Contact Our Dental Office Today!
If you want to keep your teeth in excellent condition, implementing sound infection control procedures is important. The first part of this process is ensuring that you are seen in a dental office that adheres to the CDC’s guidelines for infection control. The second part of the process is optimizing your own at-home dental practices. If you are in need of a professional dentist, be sure to turn to Boynton Laser Dental Center. This community of industry experts excels in providing excellent care in a safe, sanitary setting. We’re ready to assist you immediately, so contact us today so we can schedule your consultation.