It is possible to prevent pathogenic contamination in the treatment room through conscientious infection control. The targets for disinfection procedures are bacteria, viruses,
prions and fungi. Three concepts combine to form a successful hygienic safety plan for treatment
rooms: cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing. A checklist of sanitation tasks is to be completed by our office staff
after every procedure.
Disinfection is the process of killing pathogens. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines three levels of disinfection--high, intermediate and low--for "patient care items" that do not require sterilization, and two levels--intermediate and low--for environmental surfaces. These levels are rated according to a disinfecting product's antimicrobial "kill factor." The intended use of the patient care item determines the recommended level of disinfectant. Include the appropriate disinfecting product for each task in the overall hygienic safety plan.
Both the EPA and the FDA have rules to regulate the use of disinfectants and sterilizers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the CDC also play a role in ensuring patient safety in treatment rooms. Designing and implementing an effective program for cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing treatment rooms requires a health professional to research and understand the roles played by these various government agencies.
Please feel free to visit our dental office and see first hand how we meet and exceed cleanliness and sterilization guidelines.