Flu season has peaked and the risk of getting it is beginning to subside. But, winter is still a time of year when infection is top of mind both for those who practice dentistry as well as with their patients. “What do dentists do to prevent infections,” many people ask themselves as they head into a treatment room for a cleaning or procedure.
Signs Your Dentist Office is Taking Action to Prevent Infection
From more involved procedures like a root canal to a simple bi-annual check-up, dental procedures, like all caregiver interactions, come with the risk of infection transmission. Fortunately, dentists use the most advanced infection control practices. These processes ensure both the patient and the dentist or hygienist is fully protected. Here are just some of the steps your dental team takes to prevent infection:
- Frequent, thorough hand washing. One of the simplest sanitization processes ranks among the most effective. Hands serve as the primary vehicle for disease transmission. That’s why you’ll see your dental team members wash their hands before and after treating you.
- Wearing protective gear. Masks, gloves, gowns and eye wear are standard for dentists, hygienists and assistants because they form an effective barrier between the caregiver and the patient. Each piece is cleaned or discarded as appropriate after use.
- Cleaning of all surfaces. You may not see it from the waiting room, but before you enter a treatment area, all of the surfaces you might come into contact with are wiped down with a sterilizing solution. This includes the headrest and armrests on your chair, the overhead light, countertops etc. Many of these surfaces have protective covers as well.
- Sterilization of dental instruments. Many of the items used in your treatment are disposable and are discarded immediately after use. Those pieces of equipment that aren’t disposable undergo thorough sterilization between uses.
Other Infection Control Measures Used in Dentistry
Your dentist's office takes other steps to prevent infection, as well. For example, all staff members receive regular training on infection control processes. This includes understanding the office personal illness policy. In addition, caregivers must be up-to-date on their immunizations.
Elevate Dental Wellness maintains the highest standards in dentistry regarding infection prevention. This ensures that our patients can attend appointments with confidence that they will receive outstanding care in an exceptionally healthy environment. To make an appointment with Dr. Steinbach or Dr. Van Gorden in our Aspen dental office, please call 970-279-5647 or connect with us online at elevatewillits.com.
We’ve proudly provided comprehensive dental care to Basalt, Aspen, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and surrounding Colorado areas for 25 years.