Infection Control: Why It’s Important in the Dental Office

tara.anders Dentistry, Oral Health, Patient Safety and Wellness

No matter the reason for your visit to your dental care provider, infection control is important to the safety and effectiveness of your oral health. Procedures and recommendations established by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) help prevent transmission of infections such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV in the dental office. Here’s a list of just a few reasons why infection control is vital in the dental practice.

Protection from Patient-to-Patient Transfer and Dental Staff to Patient Transfer

Your well-being, as well as the well-being of other patients and the dental office’s staff, is paramount, which is why infection control procedures should be in place in a dental office.

It’s important to prevent patient-to-patient transfer with the cleaning of all surfaces, such as chairs, dental lights, instrument trays, and counters, and ensuring protective barriers are placed before each patient. Non-disposable instruments should be sterilized, cleaned, and individually wrapped, while disposable items should never be re-used and should be disposed of properly in biohazard containers.

Keeping the dentists, dental assistants, dental hygienists, and other staff protected is also important. Therefore, dental staff are required to follow proper handwashing and to use gloves, masks, jackets, and eyewear known as personal protection equipment (PPE). New gloves and masks should be donned for each patient. Following stringent procedures and complying with all regulations safeguard and protect patients and dental staff.

Prevention of Bacterial Growth

Bacteria are among the fastest growing organisms in the world. They can also carry several diseases and illnesses, some of which can be deadly. So how do you stop them? Proper sterilization techniques in the office put an end to bacteria. By frequently and appropriately disinfecting tools and equipment, bacteria are killed.

Prevention of Spreading of Disease

Our mouths play host to a variety of bacteria, and we’ve already learned that bacteria can carry a host of diseases. The bacteria associated with periodontal disease can be spread through saliva, and there are other diseases that can be far more concerning. Following the above procedures will prevent the spread of periodontal and other diseases between patients and dental staff.

Knoxville Dentists Who Value Your Safety

At University General Dentists in Knoxville, TN, we ensure our patients’ safety by following the strict infection control procedures recommended by the CDC, as well as other regulations set forward by the state of Tennessee. The procedures are only delegated to staff members that are licensed and qualified to perform such duties. In a continued effort to keep our entire staff educated on best practices and latest information, we require staff to attend monthly meetings for training on infection control and prevention. We care about our patients, and their health and safety are our foremost priorities.

If you are looking for a dental provider you can trust with your health and well-being, look no further! With two conveniently located offices, one near downtown Knoxville in the University of Tennessee Medical Center and one out west near Pellissippi Highway, no matter where you live in our area, we’re just a short drive away. Bonus: we’re open on Fridays! Call us today to schedule your next dental care appointment. Reach our University of Tennessee Medical Center office at 865-305-9440 or our West Knoxville office at 865-500-5700.