Our Office Sterilization Policy
At our office, your health is our number one concern. Our doctors and staff are highly trained and dedicated to meeting and exceeding the latest sterilization techniques and guidelines recommended by several federal and state agencies: the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Dental Association (ADA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). You can be assured that everything from the water lines to the instruments used in your treatment is thoroughly sterilized for your safety and protection.
Everyone benefits from rigorous infection control you, your periodontist and our office team. The cornerstone to a good and safe periodontal practice is the element of trust. You should feel free to discuss this topic with our doctors and staff and receive a straightforward answer.
All clinical staff members (doctors, surgical assistants and hygienists) thoroughly wash their hands before and after treating each patient. Universal precautions are followed by wearing protective lab coats, face masks, gloves and eye protection. Also for your safety, we will provide eye shields during treatment.
In our office instruments are examined and cleaned with an ultrasonic machine to ensure that they are free of any residue that can hinder the sterilization process. Then they are packaged properly and an autoclave (sterilization device) uses a combination of extreme pressure and high temperature to sterilize all instruments used in patients’ mouths. After they are sterilized, items are stored in clean cabinets and drawers until they are used. They are unwrapped from their sterilization paper packets only during the patient’s visit.
The autoclave is tested once per week to ensure that it is effective at killing disease-causing pathogens. We have an autoclave testing contract with the Confirm Monitoring System in Englewood, Colorado to test the device. Records of these tests are maintained by our office Clinical Coordinator.
Our office staff members are trained not to reach into drawers or cabinets to obtain supplies unless they remove any contaminated gloves that they may be wearing. We use barriers wherever feasible to prevent contaminants from touching treatment room surfaces. All disposable items used during your treatment that are made of plastic or paper are used only once, then thrown away. Other non-disposable plastic or metal items that cannot be sterilized, including countertops and surfaces, are carefully cleaned and treated with a strong disinfectant that neutralizes the disease pathogens and viruses.
Anesthetic needles and sutures are only used once and are then discarded in a specially constructed re-enforced container for storing used sharp instruments. These contaminated sharp items and other medical waste are never thrown into the mainstream trash, but are destroyed using the latest in-office disposal equipment.
Infection control and universal precautions protect patients and staff alike. The best defense against disease is information. The more you know, the better equipped you are to make wise decisions about your health care. We hope that the more educated you are about our daily procedures and policies, the more comfortable you will feel.