Cross contamination is one of the biggest issues dental offices tackle on a daily basis. Dentists should have the utmost control on a clean work area, making it safe for his or her patients. Here are some ways a patient can ensure their dentist has a plus on the office’s infection control procedures.
1. Keep an eye on the gloves
How does your dentist or hygienist put on his or her gloves? Gloves should always come out of the glove dispenser, not off an unsterilized countertop.
What does you dentist touch with the gloves? The only thing he or she should touch is sterile instruments and/or your mouth. If they leave the room and come back, they should get news gloves.
Are there soap containers around the office? There should be several cleaning stations throughout the office with the proper amount of soap and other hand cleaning supplies.
2. Check out the overall cleanliness of the office
The office should be clean and uncluttered. The appearance of the office is an indication of how serious your dentist is about sterilization.
Is there a lot of clutter on the countertops? How clean is the floor? Where do they disinfect the instruments and how do they sterilize the instruments?
3. Ask for autoclave validation
Dentists should have autoclave certifications – autoclave is just another term for sterilization. You can simply ask for that confirmation.
4. Check the instruments
The dentist or hygienist should unwrap a sealed bag of instruments in front of you. The sealed bag indicates that the instruments have been sterilized.
5. Ask questions
Never be afraid of asking questions. A good dentist will gladly field any questions. Ask your dentist on how he or she ensures infection control.