At Bucktown Dental Associates, we are committed to dental infection control for the safety of our patients and staff. We strictly follow guidelines established by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention along with the American Dental Association to prevent transmission of infectious disease, including the AIDS virus.
Many of our decontamination, sterilization and disposal procedures take place outside of your view. Before you enter the treatment room all surfaces and dental equipment are cleaned and disinfected. Disposable saliva ejectors [suction tips] and sharps [needles] are placed in special containers. We take strict precautions in handling and disposing our hazardous waste materials. All medical waste is picked from our office by Stericycle, a specialized medical waste company.
Whenever possible, we use disposable single use tools and instruments. For non-disposable instruments, dental infection control starts with cleaning and contamination in a specialized ultrasonic machine. Dental instruments are either placed in dental sterilization cassettes or sterilization pouches. Wrapped cassettes and pouches are then sterilized in a computerized steam sterilizer. steam sterilizer.
After, dental infection control, all sterilized dental instruments are brought back to the treatment rooms in sealed pouches. To make you feel comfortable, we open all pouches in your presence. All disposable tools are changed while the treatment room is set up.
Dental Infection Control for Computers
While instruments usually look shiny after sterilization, some instruments develop some spots due to steam residues and the harsh chemicals used for cleaning. This is particularly visible in dental mirrors which breake down after few sterilizations.
At Bucktown Dental, each treatment room computer is equiped with a medical-grade keybord mouse combo. For patients' safety, we wash and disinfect hose keyboards vigorously.
Mechanical and electronic: We use a state-of-the-art computerized steam sterilizer that monitors and detects any errors of sterilization cycles.
Chemical: We use sterilization bags with chemical indicators that change color when the sterilization parameters are reached. Indicator test results are shown immediately after the sterilization cycle is complete and could provide an early indication of a problem and where the problem occurred in the process.
Biological: We perform biological monitoring weekly to monitor dental infection control. A test strip is processed in the sterilizer and then mailed to a third party organization that tests the effect of sterilization of the strip and documents results. The sterilization monitoring service we use is SPSmedical, the largest sterilizer testing laboratory in North America and a corporate member of AAMI (medical), OSAP (dental), and the Canadian Standards Association (medical). Biological indicators (BIs) are the most accepted means of monitoring dental infection control / sterilization process because they directly determine the effect of sterilization on very resistant microorganisms such as Geobacillus or Bacillus species.