It is most important to us to do as much as we can to assure a safe environment for our staff and, just as importantly, for our patients. Many of us were trained when the thought of using masks and gloves alone was laughable. Awareness of HIV in the eighties changed that forever.
The orientation of a health care practice has changed considerably. Where once our principle concern was to purchase everything we could in a form with a reasonably long lifespan, now we spend a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to replace many of those things with disposable items to minimize cross contamination. We used to look for items with smooth surfaces that were easier to clean and devise protocols for keeping them as clean as possible. Now, we know that cleaning is not always effective so we now try to find practical methods to cover things and still maintain their usefulness.
So, now you enter our office and you find many things are covered in plastic which we change after each use. Cleaning and sterilization areas in a dental office used to occupy a small corner of a multi-purpose room. Now, cleaning and sterilization can occupy as much space as a treatment room. We have to have multiple autoclaves, because with only one, we would have to close the office if it broke down. We have to store worn uniforms in biohazard bags and clean and launder them separately between uses. Even the municipal water has to be treated so that bacteria in the water lines do not infect the patients.
In short, it has become an ever changing environment. We stay abreast of current infection control technology and do our best to keep everyone healthy and safe. If you ever have questions or concerns with regard to these issues, please voice them. If ever you feel we have overlooked something, please tell us.
We will do our best to make the office as safe as it can be.