So far, you’ve been pretty adamant about adhering to the CDC’s recommended social distancing guidelines to avoid catching COVID-19. One day you’re watching a movie at home and chowing down on some popcorn when crunch! You accidentally bite down too forcefully on a stray kernel. You spit only to find that a piece of your tooth has chipped off! Is it safe to visit your dentist near Viera for treatment? Do they keep their offices clean enough, especially during a pandemic? Let’s go over exactly how your dentist keeps their instruments clean.
How Is Equipment Like the Suction Tool Sterilized?
Even when a global pandemic isn’t going on, your dentist’s office is one of the cleanest places you could possibly be. This is because they follow strict guidelines set by both the CDC and the American Dental Association (ADA).
Instruments like forceps and dental mirrors are cleaned using a special tool known as an autoclave. An autoclave is a small box that sterilizes instruments by heating up on the inside to temperatures up to 270 degrees Fahrenheit. Tools are placed inside little bags that look like paper on one side and are clear on the other. These bags lay on trays inside the autoclave. Then the device heats up, killing germs that may be living on the instruments. The bags have color indicators that let your dental team know when the tools have been completely sterilized. As a result, your dentist never uses unsterilized tools on a patient.
For other tools that are reusable, such as gloves, masks, and the tips of the suction device that pulls saliva out of your mouth, your dentist simply throws them away. Since each of these items are only used for one patient, germs are not spread from one person to another.
How Are Other Items in the Dental Exam Room Sanitized?
You may have seen your hygienist or dentist adjust the light above their heads, for example, and you might be wondering if surfaces like those are regularly cleaned. Fortunately, they are. Regular professional cleaning ensures safety at the dental office. Every surface that is regularly touched is also thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis.
Additionally, common surfaces, such as doorknobs, counters, and light switches are frequently cleaned with hospital-grade disinfectant. The handle that your dental team uses to adjust the light has a plastic cover, which is switched out often. Virtually all surfaces in the operatory are wiped down after each patient leaves to avoid the transmission of germs from patient to patient.
Rest assured that your dentist near Viera takes all the necessary precautions to prevent the transfer of germs in their office. If you have any further questions about the specific sterilization measures that your dentist takes, simply give them a call, and ask.
About the Author
Dr. Cedric Chenet graduated from Howard University with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1982. He served as a dental officer in the Air Force before opening up his private practice in Melbourne, FL. His post-graduate training has covered a variety of subjects, such as periodontics and endodontics. He takes great care to ensure his office is squeaky clean and germ-free every day. If you have a question about Dr. Chenet’s office sanitation protocols, give him a call at (321) 253-3136.