Infection prevention and control standards are important in maintaining a safe environment for patients by reducing the risk of the potential spread of disease from person to person. These routines are designed to eliminate the risk of infections and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our patients, providers and visitors. Your health is important to all of our staff. If you have questions about how you are protected from infectious diseases feel free to ask your dental professionals. They would be happy to discuss these issues to make you feel more comfortable and secure about your dental visit. Dental professionals know the facts about infection control. The profession has established guidelines that all dental professionals must follow to protect you. Your safety is a priority for you and our team. Continue reading to learn more about how we protect our staff and patients.
Sterilization of instruments
Each instrument undergoes a sterilization process after each patient and procedure. The sterilization process is a thorough one to ensure the safety of our staff and patients. After the dentists, hygienists or dental assistants have finished treating a patient, all dental instruments that are heat stable are sterilized by steam under pressure (autoclaving) and dry heat. Before sterilization, instruments are cleaned so that any debris is removed using an enzymatic or non-enzymatic before they are used on any other patient. Sterilization is a process that kills all forms of life, including infectious organisms such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV and Tuberculosis. Each sterilized load is tested to ensure instruments are in fact being sterilized and that all infectious organisms are killed. With these detailed testing procedures, dentists and patients can be confident that the instruments used have been completely cleaned and sterilized.
A number of items in the dental office are used on patients only once and then discarded. Disposable items are items that cannot be sterilized, so they are instead disposed of in order to ensure safety. Disposable items include gloves, gowns, masks, needles and syringes, protective coverings for instrument trays, and certain instruments that cannot withstand the sterilization process. Discarded needles are placed in a designated container to prevent needle-stick injuries, not in the regular waste collection. The system that we have at Dentistry on the Mountain ensures that you are safe the moment you step into our office. Our dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants do their best to protect you by constantly replacing used disposable items. Our staff also wash or sanitize their hands in between the replacement of disposable items to ensure that new disposable items do not become decontaminated.
Patient safety extends to the dental treatment area as well. The area in which your treatment occurs is cleaned and disinfected after each patient, and disposable covers are placed to protect surfaces from contamination. These covers are replaced after treating each patient. This is also true for the area in which sterilization occurs. Couches in the reception area are also constantly being disinfected. Wipes are also used to disinfect phones and computers used by the staff. By disinfecting all surfaces being touched, Dentistry on the Mountain ensures that no bacteria or viruses are being spread from one person to the next, both staff and patients. Patients are always encouraged to sanitize their hands to ensure that the surfaces they touch remain clean. Our staff also sanitize their hands constantly to ensure clean surfaces.
Your safety is very important to us. We understand that COVID-19 may be a concern for you, but we are here to assure you that we take extra precautions to ensure our staff’s and patients’ safety against the virus. At Dentistry on the Mountain, you can feel safe knowing that our staff tries their hardest to ensure your safety. The safety precautions we take against COVID-19 are: pre screening assessments, temperature checks, HEPA filters, and personal protective equipment. We follow all guidelines by the Ontario Ministry of Health, so you can be at ease at our office knowing that you are safe. Learn more about how we protect our patients and staff against COVID-19 by clicking here.
Last revised December 2021 – To be reviewed annually.