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Importance of Sterilization and Disinfection

Sterilization procedures are very important to any good dental practice. These are a part of basic care and handling of patients that your dentist must incorporate to be able to give you quality oral health care.

The Centers for Disease Control has laid down infection control guidelines that a dental clinic should adhere to: A well-ventilated room with air-circulating devices prevents building up of aerosols produced from the dental drills. Use scrub apron, eyewear, disposable gloves and facemasks. The patient is draped, and may be given a protective “face shield” to prevent skin contamination from the dental drill’s water spray. An anti-microbial mouth rinse just before a dental procedure is important to reduce contamination. The dental chair’s knobs and handles need to be chemically disinfected between patients. All the dental instruments that go into patient’s mouth need to be subjected a high-degree sterilization procedure, such as “autoclaving,” which destroys all microbial contamination. These instruments are then stored in a dry, sterile, contained area such as disposable pouches or cassettes, and removed just before using for the patient. Local injections require disposable needles with single-use syringes or sterile cartridges for each patient.

Infection control measures not only reduce the chances of getting a dental infection, they also reduce the risk of catching serious diseases like HIV and hepatitis, so choosing a sterile dentist is important to stay healthy!

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