Amid a pandemic, concerns that likely would’ve never crossed your mind are now a top priority. Since the fight against germs, bacteria, and viruses is more important now than ever, understanding the lengths your dentist takes to keep their instruments sterilized can relieve anxiety around your upcoming appointment. Your dentist in Virginia Beach shares four critical steps they follow to clean their instruments.
Designated Space for Cleaning Equipment
In order to meet infection control guidelines, your dentist must limit the potential for cross contamination. Therefore, tools that need to go through the extensive cleaning process must be taken to a designated space for sterilization. If this protocol set forth by the American Dental Association is breached, then newly cleaned tools can quickly become contaminated from the exposure to the used ones.
Proper Transfer of Tools
Before the contaminated equipment even gets to the sterilization room, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration outline these specific measures that need to be taken:
- Single-use equipment needs to be separated from reusable tools.
- Sharp items need to be handled with care or disposed of in the “sharps” container.
- Heavy-duty gloves must be worn throughout the entire process.
Thorough Cleaning Process
Advances in technology and sanitation have provided mechanical methods of instrument cleaning. Not only does this ensure thorough sterilization of the tools, but it also limits the amount of time instruments are being handled by staff. Below are three common disinfectant tools:
- Ultrasonic cleaning devices – These use sound waves to remove debris from instruments in a process called cavitation.
- Instrument washers – With this device, tools are cleaned with a combination of hot water and detergent.
- Thermal disinfectors – The addition of chemical additives allow instrument washers to provide a thermal disinfectant to each tool.
Examination and Care
Once each piece of equipment is methodically cleaned, they are inspected and dried before being sorted into designated pouches. These paper or plastic packages are designed to maintain the integrity of the tool as well as the sterilization. Each pouch is single-use only and is discarded after opening.
Dentists have practiced infection control long before COVID-19. These four measures in conjunction with pandemic-friendly dental safety protocol will ensure that both you and your smile stay healthy!
About Smile by Design
If you have been searching “dentist near me” in Google in hopes of finding an experienced, friendly team, then look no further. Between their passion for creating an anxiety-free experience and commitment to using gentle approaches during treatment, Dr. Santos and Dr. Folck use their extensive knowledge to provide one-of-a-kind service. For more information on how they are prioritizing your safety at their office, visit their website or give them a call at 757-499-9639.