Infection Control Implementation


Since we do get very, very serious about our patient and staff safety, we implement a hospital-grade sterilization process based on the guidelines by government agencies such as the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We really mean seriously. After all, we treat our family at our clinic too.

Our infection control procedures are thoroughly carried out and enforced by our well trained staff using modern disinfection and sterilization equipment. Aside from basic practices like using gloves, masks, and barriers our infection control implementation is described as below.

At the beginning of each working day

treated_waterline

We purge dental unit waterlines with air or flush with water for at least 2 minutes as a precaution measure. Since there are concerns that all remnants of the biofilm matrix are not eliminated from waterlines, the water is treated with A-dec ICX tablets (safely cleared for use by the FDA) to remove any potential organic debris left over from the day before.


After each patient

ops_cleaning

All items and instruments are taken to the designated sterilization area to be disposed and disinfected. The dental chair fixtures are sprayed with CaviCide. Counter surfaces, cabinet doors, and dental chair are cleaned with CaviWipe. Digital x-ray sensors are also cleaned with alcohol as a precaution even though they are covered by a disposable sensor barrier.

cavicide

These surface disinfectants are effective against TB, HBV, HCV, viruses (hydrophilic and lipophilic), bacteria (including MRSA and VRE) and fungi.

sani_treet

Our staff then rinses the dental unit waterlines between patients with an evacuation cleaner Sani-treet Plus, an enzymatic solution, to break down the buildup of organic debris along these waterlines.

barriers

Treatment area barriers are replaced with new ones after each patient.


Disinfect and sterilize equipment

pa4_ultrasonic

Disposable items are properly discarded. Amalgam and needles are stored in separate containers to be shipped to licensed companies for handling hazardous materials. Before packing and moving re-usable instrument to the sterilizer machine our staffs soak them in an ultrasonic unit filled with an enzymatic solution to clean instruments contaminated with non-protein debris.

lisa

We use a high-quality Lisa sterilizer that provides three Class B (hospital grade) sterilization cycles that are designed to kill bacteria and viruses by steam, heat and pressure. Each complete sterilization duration lasts between 45 minutes to one hour. The autoclave also provides the highest standards of sterilization for all types of loads: solid, hollow, and porous.

sterilized_instruments

We implement two monitor processes to make sure each instrument passes sterilization cycles:

  • A strip of heat-sensitive ink is included in the package with the instruments during the sterilization process. If the instrument has been exposed to the proper heat the ink changes color.
  • Each week we mail a spore test to the lab to make sure the sterilizer machine works properly.