Although it is recommended for dentists to use disposable instruments when taking care of patients, this isn’t always possible. As a result, dental teams are paying careful attention to the cleaning and sanitizing process that comes with reusable items. From following manufacturer guidelines to implementing additional standards of their own, a dentist in Tappan explains how they’re keeping patients better protected amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
How Are Dental Instruments Cleaned?
When arriving for a regular dental checkup and cleaning or an elective procedure, you will find a tray that consists of various instruments your dentist in Tappan will use to complete the cleaning, examination, or treatment. While some may be disposable, most are not, which means they must go through a thorough cleaning before being reused.
But how can your dentist make sure everything is sanitized before being used again?
Although each dentist’s office employs their own cleaning protocols, many maintain a similar process when it comes to cleaning dental instruments. Dental mirrors, scalers, and forceps are all sterilized based on the recommendations put forth by the American Dental Association (ADA). This includes using an autoclave, which is a high-powered device that uses increased pressure and saturated steam to disinfect.
Your dentist or dental assistant will place the instruments into a specialized pouch that contains a clear window on one side and a color indicator. Once placed into the autoclave, it is set for a specific amount of time. The instruments are ready for use once the marker changes color.
How Are Other Areas of the Treatment Room Sanitized?
Your dentist knows dental instruments are not the only things that need to be sanitized within a treatment room. Even if the number of patients seen each day is lower than before, bacteria and viruses can easily pass from one person to another if surfaces and equipment are not thoroughly cleaned.
Fortunately, your dentist is employing increased sanitation efforts to ensure any frequently touched area (i.e. countertops, door handles, overhead light) is cleaned before you arrive.
By using approved cleaners and plastic covers over keyboards, chairs, and electric cords, any dangerous pathogens that can live on these surfaces will be eliminated. Also, your dental team will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep any particles that are emitted from aerosol-generating procedures from entering the eyes, nose, or mouth and infecting staff or another patient.
The implementation of additional health and safety protocols by your dentist in Tappan is helping to keep everyone better protected from the continued threat of COVID-19. While cross-contamination is a concern for many, you can trust that your dental team is doing everything possible to keep all patients, including yourself, healthy and virus-free.
About the Practice
Our team at Smile More Dentistry understands you might be a bit apprehensive about visiting our office during this time. To give our patients greater peace of mind, we’ve implemented additional safety protocols in our practice to ensure a healthier environment for everyone. Because harmful germ, bacteria, and viruses can be easily transferred from patient-to-patient, we are going above and beyond to ensure all dental instruments that cannot be disposed of are thoroughly sanitized before each use. If you want to learn more about what we’re doing to avoid the possible contamination or transmission of COVID-19, visit our website or call (845) 675-1512.