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Infection Control And Your Dentist

Your dental hygiene is vitally important and regular visits to the dentist should be a core part of this. However, if hygiene standards are not adhered to in your dental practice, there is a risk of picking up infection and disease during your visit. Laws and regulations are in place to set high expectations from your dental practice, and you should be able to relax in the knowledge that your health is in good hands.

How Do I Know if my Dental Practice has Good Infection Control?

It’s good to know what to look for to reassure yourself that your dentist is maintaining good hygiene standards. Good dentists will be very happy to reassure you on these issues, and these are the key areas to be aware of:

  1. Infection transmission barriers. Your dentist and assistants should wear gloves, protective eyewear, a facemask and appropriate clothing or lab coat throughout examination and treatment of your teeth.

  2. Sterile procedures. Between each use, dental instruments are cleaned in an ultrasonic bath to remove debris, and bagged and sterilized in an autoclave. Your dentist or hygienist, or their assistants, should only open bags containing dental instruments after you have entered the room, as they will only be sterile until the bag is opened.

  3. Cleanliness in the room. You should see that surfaces are covered with disposable plastic barriers if they are hard to clean, including areas such as computer keyboards and handles on lights, hoses and other equipment. You will probably also see a disposable head rest cover and wipe-clean surfaces on the dental chair. Surfaces and chairs are usually cleaned between visits and high standards of general cleanliness should be maintained at all times.

  4. Correct disposal procedures. Needles and syringes must be discarded correctly in a sharps container to avoid the risk of serious injury or contamination. Sharps bins are normally mounted on the wall and there will also be different infectious waste disposal containers in the room to discard items that have been used in surgery or are potentially infection hazards.

  5. Ask questions. Your dentist will usually be happy to answer any queries or concerns you have regarding their infection control procedures, and if they are not, you may be worried that their practice is not following high enough standards! Ask how instruments are sterilized, whether the autoclave is regularly tested, and what infection control policies are in place. Many dental offices will have policies displayed on the wall or on posters or pamphlets in the waiting area.

Visit Your Family Dentist in Ballincollig, Cork

For peace of mind and reassurance that your dentist is following impeccable hygiene protocols, visit the Guiney Dental Clinic, in Ballincollig. With a friendly and helpful staff, who are all experienced and pride themselves on having high standards, you’re sure to feel comfortable and happy while you receive the treatment you need. Call the practice today on 021-481 0535.


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