Due to COVID-19, dental practices have been closed across the country. Now, as some things start to slowly open back up, dental practices aren’t far behind. We want our patients to know that they can feel safe when they come to our office. Dr. Ami Barakat, a cosmetic dentist in Stittsville, ON, describes the infection control protocol at our office.
Following Standard Infection Control and Sterilization Protocols
There are guidelines the entire dental industry follows to ensure proper sterilization and infection control. They’re updated regularly to ensure that the most updated techniques and technologies are being used. A document from the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario details standard practices that dental workers should follow to ensure proper protocols are performed.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE is necessary for the safety of both patients and staff. One of the most important PPE components is disposable gloves. Gloves are changed between patients and when surfaces like the computer are touched. Depending on the cosmetic or orthodontic services being performed, gloves may be changed multiple times with one patient. Proper handwashing techniques are followed before a pair of gloves is put on.
Patients are given bibs and staff has protective coverings to ensure that bodily fluids don’t get on skin or clothing. Eye protection for staff is also a standard component of dental PPE. With COVID-19, you may see more restrictions. Staff will definitely be wearing masks at all times. They also may have a full-face shield to ensure that nothing passes between the patients and the staff.
Disinfection and Sterilization Techniques
Due to the nature of dental and orthodontic work, some dental tools have to be reused between patients. High-risk tools like those used for oral surgery receive heat sterilization. This is the highest level of sterilization that we have. For lower-risk tools that can withstand the high temperatures of heat sterilization, they get the same treatment whenever possible.
For other dental tools, they’re completely disposable or have crucial parts that are. This lets patients know that they’re getting something new at the beginning of their appointment. For surface sterilization, like for exam chairs and other surfaces in exam rooms, they’re thoroughly wiped down with a disinfectant solution. This is also used for high-traffic areas like the reception desk and surfaces in the waiting room.
With COVID-19, extra precautions are needed. We’re limiting the number of people allowed in our waiting room at one time. We may ask you to wait in the car until we come to get you for your appointment. Temperature checks and COVID-19 questionnaires may be required before you can enter. You may be required to sanitize your hands and do a disinfectant oral rinse when you come into the office.
Your Cosmetic Dentist in Stittsville, Ontario
We want our patients to know that they’re safe in our office. And we’re ready to see our patients’ smiles again! Call us or schedule an appointment online for the near future.