Due to COVID-19, dental practices were closed to everything but emergency dentistry. Now that things are slowly opening up, dental practices are starting to offer full services. We want our patients to know that you’re safe in our dental office. Barataria Dental, a dentist in New Orleans, LA, discusses infection control and dental sterilization at our office.
Complying With CDC and ADA Guidelines
Since 1993, these two agencies have worked together to create and implement guidelines for infection control and sterilization in the dental industry. They’re continuously working to make sure the latest techniques and technologies are being used. A CDC document is provided for dental workers that contains tools and checklists to ensure the proper protocols are being followed.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE is necessary for the safety of both the patients and staff. One of the most important components of PPE is disposable gloves. These are changed between every patient and after touching surfaces like the computer. Depending on the dental services being performed, gloves may be changed multiple times with the same patient to ensure cleanliness. Proper handwashing techniques are followed before gloves are put on.
Patients are given bibs and staff is given a protective covering to prevent bodily fluids from getting on clothing or skin. Eye protection is another standard item for dental PPE. However, you might see something different due to COVID-19. It’s recommended that medical personnel wear full-face shields to ensure that nothing passes between patients and staff.
Disinfection and Sterilization Techniques
Due to the nature of dental procedures, sometimes dental tools have to be reused. This means that they have to be sterilized with the highest measures available. For high-risk tools, like those used for oral surgery or periodontal therapy, this means heat sterilization. Lower-risk tools are also sterilized in this way if they’re able to handle the high temperatures of heat sterilization.
Other dental tools are either fully disposable or contain parts that are. Patients then know that they’re getting something new at the beginning of their appointment. For surface sterilization, like for blood pressure cuffs and dental chairs, they’re thoroughly wiped down with a disinfectant solution. This is also done in high-traffic areas, like the reception desk and surfaces in the waiting room.
With COVID-19, you may experience some stricter precautions. We’re trying to limit the number of people that are in our waiting room at one time. We may ask you to call when you get here and we’ll come out to the parking lot to get you. Temperature checks and COVID-19 questionnaires may be required before you’re allowed entry to the office. Hand sanitizer may also be required when you enter.
Your Dentist in New Orleans, Louisiana
We want our patients to know their safety is our top priority. We’re ready to see our patients’ smiles again! Call us or schedule an appointment online.