Our office takes pride in our exemplary infection control standards. Your child’s safety is the utmost importance to us. We meet or exceed the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), American Dental Association (ADA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Every year the office has an on-site, seminar with an infection control and OSHA industry leader, Tom Terry. He inspects all of our daily protocols, machines, and instruments, and conducts a personalized training with the entire team. We are proud to be in the top 2% of all dental offices for excellent infection control and protocol, and that we are listed on his website as an ‘exceptional dental office.’
Here are a few examples of why we are so proud of our patient safety standards:
1. Our autoclave: We use a class B, hospital grade, autoclave for instrument sterilization. Class-B sterilizers create a vacuum, thus removing air from the load prior to the chamber being pressurized with steam. This technique allows faster and more effective steam penetration throughout the entire instrument load than non- class B autoclaves, ensuring full sterilization.
2. Our disinfectant: As is industry standard, we clean all surfaces between patients with a medical grade disinfectant. We currently are using Optim-33 to maintain a clean and safer working environment. It is very effective, non irritating to eyes and skin, has no VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), and has an EPA Toxicity Level of 4 – no warnings required.
3. Our instrument pouches: Triple parameter sterilization pouches give the highest sterility assurance–Built-in internal/externalmulti-parameter indicators only change color when all 3 criteria for sterilization have been met (heat, time, and steam). This is superior to traditional sterilization pouches with a Class 1 process indicator that measures only temperature.
4. Our water lines: More people are learning about ‘biofilm’, a term used to describe bacteria that can build up on the inside of water lines. To inhibit this bacterial growth, we use Dentapure water filtration systems in every chair to help ensure the water going in to your child’s mouth is clean. DentaPure is an in-line attachment dental water that is EPA labeled to purify incoming water to 200 cfu/ml bacteria or below. The technology uses iodinated resin technology, contains no allergenic proteins, and allows for very clean water without the need for chemicals or tablets. It is an FDA cleared and EPA registered antimicrobial product that meets and exceeds microbiological standards including OSAP, ADA & CDC.
5. Our training: Dental assistants learn sterilization techniques in their formal training, and registered dental assistants are tested on their knowledge by the state to receive their licenses. All our staff is closely monitored during their training periods, and we ensure our staff is confident with our technology before they leave their training period. Yearly on-site meetings with an infection control expert ensure we are staying up to date.
We understand that parents sometimes have concerns regarding dental xrays. Our office follows the guidelines of the American Dental Association (ADA) to keep xray exposure as low as possible.
1. Digital xrays: We use a digital xray system which has been shown to use less radiation than conventional film systems.
2. Scheduling: We schedule our xrays based on individual patient need and cavity risk. This means we do not automatically take xrays at every six month exam. We are happy to discuss your child’s recommended xray schedule with you, based on the ADA guidelines.
3. Patient protection: We use lead aprons with lead thyroid shield on every patient.
We are all exposed to natural daily background radiation from sources such as the sun, the soil, and the air. To put things in perspective, two dental bitewing xrays to screen for cavities in between the back teeth are equivalent to 1 day of background radiation.