Your Family’s Health and Safety Are Our Top Priority
Here at Cumberland Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, we take every precaution to ensure that your family is being seen in the most hygienic environment possible.
We use up-to-date infection control measures and universal precautions recommended by both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to protect both your family and our team. Our employees undergo frequent training to ensure proper infection prevention, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, updated safe injection practices, and measures for effective instrument sterilization.
Standard Precautions are the minimum infection prevention practices that apply to all patient care, regardless of suspected or confirmed infection status of the patient. These practices are set forth by many different administrations including OSHA, CDC, The American Dental Association (ADA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These practices include, but are not limited to:
- When hands are visibly soiled using soap and water.
- After barehanded touching of instruments, equipment, materials, and other objects likely to be contaminated by blood, saliva, or respiratory secretions.
- Before and after treating each patient.
- Before putting on gloves and again immediately after removing gloves.
- An alcohol-based hand rub may be used in lieu of soap and water if hands are not visibly soiled.
Use of personal protective equipment, or PPE
- Use of gloves in situations involving possible contact with blood or body fluids, mucous membranes, or non-intact skin while changing gloves between patients and disposing of gloves once removed.
- Use of protective clothing to protect skin and clothing during procedures or activities where contact with blood or body fluids is anticipated.
- Use of mouth, nose, and eye protection during procedures that are likely to generate splashes or sprays of blood or other body fluids.
- Removing of and properly disposing of all PPE between patients to ensure removal of any infectious materials.
Respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette
- Implementing measure to contain respiratory secretions in patients and accompanying individuals who have signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection.
- Providing tissues and no-touch receptacles for disposal of tissues.
- Providing resources for performing hand hygiene in or near waiting areas.
- Rescheduling any patients that present with symptoms of respiratory infection in order to protect the health of other patients and their families.
- Directing staff members to stay home when showing signs of illness.
- Implementation of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard has helped to protect all dental workers from blood and sharps injuries.
- Consider all sharp items (e.g. needles, scalers, burs, lab knives, etc) that are contaminated with patient blood and/or saliva as potentially infective.
- Establish engineering controls and work practices to prevent injuries.
- Place used, puncture resistant disposable sharps containers as close as possible to the area where the items are used.
Safe injection practices
- Prepare injections using aseptic technique in a clean area.
- Do not use needles or syringes for more than one patient (this includes manufactured prefilled syringes and other devices such as insulin pens).
- Use single-dose vials for medications when possible and only on one patient.
- Do not combine leftover contents of single-use vials for later use.
- Needles and cartridges containing local anesthetics are used for one patient only and the dental cartridge syringe is cleaned and heat sterilized between patients per manufacturer standards.
Sterile instruments and devices
- We sterilize all reusable equipment, including dental handpieces after each patient.
- We use an autoclave, a device that kills bacteria and viruses by use of steam, heat, and pressure.
- All instruments are cleaned and sterilized per manufacturer recommendations to ensure cleanliness and longevity.
Clean and disinfected environmental surfaces
- Established policies and procedures are in place for routine cleaning and disinfection of all environmental surfaces.
- Use of surface barriers to protect clinical contact surfaces, particularly those that are difficult to clean (e.g. switches on chairs, computer equipment) and barriers are changed or sanitized between each patient.
- Cleaning and disinfecting of all clinical contact surfaces that are not barrier-protected with an EPA-registered hospital disinfectant after each patient (our offices use Cavicide).
- Follow manufacturer instructions for use of cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants.
Dental unit water quality
- Use water that meets EPA regulatory standards for drinking water for routine dental treatment output water.
- Follow recommendations for monitoring water quality provided by the manufacturer of the unit.
- Use sterile saline or sterile water as a coolant/irrigant when performing surgical procedures.
The best defense against disease is information. The more you know, the better equipped you are to make wise decisions about your family’s health care. The more you know about our daily procedures and policies, the more comfortable you will feel.
The cornerstone of any safe dental practice is the element of trust. Please feel free to discuss these topics with one of our doctors or email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Settings; Basic Expectations for Safe Care. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept of Health and Human Services; October 2016