Due to COVID-19, many dental practices were closed to everything but emergency dental services. Now, things are slowly opening back up and we’re able to see more patients. As we’re welcoming more patients, we want to make sure they know they can feel safe in our office. At Tryon Family Dentistry, a dentist in Raleigh, NC, we’re following many infection control and sterilization protocols.
Keeping With the CDC and ADA Guidelines
These two agencies have been working together since 1993 to create, implement, and consistently update infection control and sterilization guidelines for the dental industry. They work together and make sure that the latest technology and techniques are being recommended to dental practices. A CDC document contains tools and checklists so that dental workers can ensure they’re following the right protocols.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE is necessary for the safety of both patients and staff. Most importantly, disposable gloves are used. They’re changed between every patient, as well as 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 techniques are performed before a pair of gloves is put on.
Patients are provided with bibs and staff is provided with protective gear to prevent bodily fluids from getting on skin or clothing. Eye protection was always required for dental personnel. However, COVID-19 has required stricter protection for medical personnel. Full-face shields are to be worn to ensure that nothing is passing between patients and staff.
Disinfection and Sterilization Techniques
Because of the nature of some dental procedures, it’s required for some dental tools to be reused from patient to patient. This requires the highest standard of sterilization. Therefore, high-risk tools like those used for oral surgery and root canal therapy, are sterilized with heat. Lower-risk tools that can handle high temperatures are done with this as well.
For many other tools, they’re disposable or have crucial parts that are. This way, the patient knows that they’re getting something new at the beginning of their appointment. For surface sterilization, like for blood pressure cuffs or dental chairs, they’re thoroughly wiped down with a disinfectant. This is also done for high-traffic areas like the reception desk and surfaces in the waiting room.
COVID-19 has heightened other restrictions as well. We may only allow a limited number of people in the waiting room at one time. You may be asked to wait in the car until we come to get you. Temperature checks and COVID-19 questionnaires may be required before you’re allowed to enter the office. Sanitizing your hands may be required upon entry.
Your Dentist in Raleigh, North Carolina
We want you to know that the safety of you and our staff is our highest priority. We’re ready to see patients’ smiles back in our office again. Call us or schedule an appointment online!