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Dentists Practice Infection Control — for Your Health!

Dentists Practice Infection Control — for Your Health!

Your MDA dentist places your well-being above all else. As healthcare providers, your dentist and their team practice strict infection control and disease prevention measures. Efforts to limit exposure to illness start before you even sit in the dentist's chair. In fact, these standards are so essential to dental treatment that they’re technically the first step in your care!

Recently, dental offices were closed for “non-essential” treatment; all but emergency and urgent matters were put on hold. Michigan dental practices may reopen for regular care – including routine preventive and restorative procedures – on May 29, 2020. Please call your MDA dentist for their specific opening and to schedule care. In preparation to welcome back their patients, MDA member dentists are following guidelines and putting new protocols in place to ensure safety during the pandemic. Our members are excited to get back to what they love – treating all their patients!

 

Dental Infection Controls Prevent the Spread of Infection & Disease

All dental staff who treat patients are trained in infection prevention methods. Your dentist and their staff uphold strict infection control guidelines set by ​the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ​and follow recommendations from​ the American Dental Association​, the Michigan Dental Association, and other governing bodies.

Some of these infection prevention and control practices include:

  • Dental exam room disinfection protocol
  • Proper handwashing and hand hygiene techniques
  • The wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • The use of sterilized dental instruments
  • Employing safe medical waste disposal methods
  • Following additional, up-to-date coronavirus-specific prevention protocol set by the CDC, ADA, MDA, and other agencies

 

How Dentists Reduce Your Risk of Infection & Illness at Every Visit

What gets disinfected before you sit in the dentist’s chair

In between every patient — yes, every patient— your dental care team takes steps to prevent the spread of infection and illness. Before you enter the treatment room, dental staff clean and disinfect all surfaces and change any protective covers on the equipment.

This means the following are always clean, disinfected, or changed before you enter the treatment room:

  • Dental treatment chair
  • Dental light
  • Instrument tray and all dental instruments
  • Drawers and countertop surfaces
  • All protective coverings

 

MDA dentists and their dental hygienists and dental assistants maintain proper hand hygiene

Proper hand hygiene is the first defense against the spread of disease. In between patients, dentists and their treating staff wash their hands and change their gloves. In fact, they do this every time they leave and come back into the exam room!

 

Your MDA dental care team uses personal protective equipment (PPE) every time they treat a patient

Dentists and their treating staff wear garments, including masks, to create a protective barrier between them and their patients. The following PPE items are changed, disinfected, or thrown out after use to prevent the spread of infection:

  • Disposable gloves
  • Face shields and protective eyewear
  • Any additional garments or protective equipment required for a procedure

 

Dental tools are always clean and sterile—disposable items are never reused!

Dental offices use strict sterilization practices to ensure dental tools are clean and safe. All non-disposable dental instruments are sterilized between patients using special machines and equipment.

Disposable instruments and needles come from sealed, sterile packs. All disposable instruments and needles are properly disposed of after one-time use. No disposable tool is ever reused!

 

Have questions about your MDA dentist’s infection control procedures? Ask away!

If you have questions about infection control protocol, just ask your dentist. MDA dentists are friendly, chatty folks. And if there’s one thing they love talking about — it’s proper dental care procedures and protocol!

For more information on infection control in the dental setting, visit the CDC, or view the Infection Control Slide Show from the American Dental Association.


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