22 Aug Infection Control in a Dental Practice
For any dental clinic, working to maintain effective infection control is vital. In order to prevent the transmission of disease and infection, there are a number of measures that must be taken, including maintaining high standards of personal hygiene, minimising surface contamination, and using the right personal protective products. This article will discuss what is necessary to ensure adequate infection control in a dental clinic.
Achieving successful infection control in a sterile environment requires the following:
- That people understand the basic principles of infection control.
- That those in charge can develop processes that enable infection control procedures to be implemented smoothly and with full compliance.
- That people continually maintain and update their knowledge through the guidelines to infection control.
- That any dental supplies supplied are TGA registered and are compliant with the relative standards.
How Do Infection Causing Microorganisms Get Spread Between People?
Infection-causing microorganisms can be spread between people in a number of ways. Microorganisms can be inhaled after going airborne, passed from human to human through direct contact, ingested, sneezed, or even transmitted via indirect contact with an inanimate object or unsanitary surface. Fortunately, the spread of microorganisms can be minimised through numerous approaches, including:
- Reducing opportunities for surface contamination.
- Maintaining a high standard of personal hygiene both inside and out of the dentist practice.
- Adhering to stringent risk minimisation measures that reduce the likelihood of microorganisms spreading (e.g. proper and correct use of dental supplies).
How to Reduce the Risk of Spreading Infection in Your Practice
To prevent the spread of agents that cause infection throughout the practice, it’s vital to stop and consider how you use your daily dental supplies. For example, before applying dental gloves, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands to remove any dirt or fibres from your hands that might rip the fabric, and make sure to remove them immediately after use. You should also safeguard yourself as best you can with personal protective products such as protective glasses, examination gloves, face masks and more. Available from Orien Dental Supplies, these products are TGA registered and complaint, allowing you to greatly reduce the risk of spreading infection.
For Extra Assistance and Guidance
One of the easiest ways to ensure your clinic has adopted best practice infection control procedures is to comply with the guidelines set out in the NHMRC Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare. This should be regarded as a complementary document to the ADA’s Guidelines for Infection Control. Together, these guidelines address infection control processes across all healthcare environments, including dental practices, and offer qualified advice on situations where additional risk-based precautions might be necessary.