When a patient decides to visit a dentist, they are usually confident that the dentist has put in place all the necessary safety measures to avoid unintentional harm that may occur during the visit. In fact, every dental clinic in America is required by law to comply with all CDC and OSHA safety standards. Therefore, it is a legal and moral duty of every dental care provider to guarantee their patients total safety. Below is a quick outline of the safety protocol that every dentist office must observe in order to keep patients safe during dental visits.
Every staff member in a dentist office must undergo the necessary training and remain updated on the latest safety measures. The training is aimed at enhancing their knowledge and readiness for patient’s safety.
When a patient arrives at the dentist office, they are supposed to fill out a health inquiry form as well as a consent form. Here, they will declare if they have any pre-existing conditions and offer any other information that will help the dentist to understand them better. In addition to filling the forms, the patient will undergo a temperature check, and if their temperature is above 100° F, they will be deemed to have a fever and requested to reschedule their visit.
Hand Sanitization Station
Before entering the office or the clinical area, every patient should sanitize their hands thoroughly. This is very important, especially now that the spread of Corona virus is on the rise. Every dental clinic must have a hand sanitization station, preferably outside where patients can sanitize their hands before they go in.
Cleaning After Appointment
To avoid cross contamination, the clinical area and instruments must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after every appointment. Surfaces in the waiting area, office and operating area must also be properly wiped and disinfected after every client.
Regular Deep Cleaning
Alongside regular disinfection and cleaning of surfaces and equipment, the dentist’s office should also be cleaned thoroughly at the end of every working day. This is a top-to-bottom wash down, targeting every corner of the clinic.
According to CDC safety standards, every medical equipment must be properly sterilized before it is used on a patient. The right sterilization should involve pressure and heat cleaning of the instrument between each use.
N95 and ASTM Level Three Masks
Every member of the clinical team must wear the right N95 and ASTM level three masks whenever they are handling a patient. These masks protect cross contamination between the patient and the clinical officer.
As a patient, you should confirm whether your preferred dental clinic adheres to these and other safety measures before you book your visit.