The American Academy of Oral Medicine announced that September is National Dental Infection Control Awareness Month. So defined by the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP), the second annual campaign reaffirms and promotes the dental community’s commitment to infection control. The easiest way to implement safety measures is by adopting the CDC’s Summary and Checklist to support infection control coordinators:
The goals of Dental Infection Control Awareness Month include:
- Support the adoption of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)’s infection prevention checklist.
- Champion the role of the infection control coordinator.
- Promote patient safety and build patients’ trust in infection control compliance.
The CDC’s Checklist
The basic elements of an infection prevention program prevent the spread of infection in healthcare settings. Implementing these elements reduces the risk of infection among patients and healthcare personnel. The CDC developed the Infection Control Assessment Tools to assist healthcare departments identify and implement infection prevention practices. The checklist also serves as quality control guide which identifies and addresses gaps). Healthcare workers use these tools to conduct internal quality improvement audits.
Due to COVID-19, the safe practice of dental care has emerged as even more important than people may have realized before the pandemic. Dr. Wong and his staff work to make sure his patients are safe and free from infection before, during and after dental work. We do this by:
- Screening patients before they enter the practice, to make sure no one with symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 is treated in our office. If you start feeling symptoms associated with COVID-19 within 2 days of your appointment, please call to reschedule, even if you’ve been vaccinated.
- Practicing social distancing in the office. One way we do this is in the way we schedule appointments, to keep the number of patients in our office at one time to a minimum. Another is by providing ways for patients who are waiting to socially distance. For this reason, we may prompt you to limit the number of people you bring with you to your appointment.
- Encouraging mask wearing.
- Requiring our staff be vaccinated against the Coronavirus.
- Prescribing antibiotics for any invasive treatment.
- Monitoring and providing ongoing care of patients who are at risk of any infection.
- Before patients enter the examining room, we clean and sanitize all surfaces, such as the dental chair, dental light, drawer handles and countertops.
- We cover equipment with protective plastic coverings, which are replaced after each patient.
- We use disposable tools whenever necessary. We never re-use disposable tools.
- We clean and sterilize non-disposable items like dental tools are cleaned and sterilized between patients.
- Our dental staff use appropriate protective equipment such as gloves, masks, gowns, and goggles. What’s more, we provide eyewear for our patients.
- After each patient, we safely and securely dispose of disposable gloves and masks.
- Before seeing the next patient, our treatment team washes their hands and puts on a new pair of gloves.
If you are treated for a dental infection, please take your prescribed medication. And call Dr. Wong’s office immediately if you start to notice redness or swelling at the site or if you have a fever. Let’s work together to keep infection at bay!
About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora, California
Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.