Sterile Equipment: How to Be Sure Your Dental Office is Safe
Carol was usually not much of a worrier. However, after seeing on the news that thousands of patients seen by the same Tulsa dentist had to be tested for disease due to the unsanitary conditions found in his office, she felt a tad uneasy about her upcoming dental check up. She believed the news report that most dental practices adhere to a strict regimen of sanitizing equipment, but she also knew she’d feel better if she knew for certain her dentist’s office was one of them! She decided to ask about the sterilization procedures used by her dentist at her next appointment.
Martin Taylor Dentistry: A Perfect Record in Sterilization
If Carol’s dentist was either Dr. Jeff Martin or Dr. Will Taylor in Tucson, she would have nothing to worry about. Dr. Martin and Dr. Taylor not only follow the strictest regimen to provide each and every patient with perfectly sterile conditions, but they are more than happy to show and explain to any patient exactly how that sterilization is achieved, maintained, and monitored. In their 34 years of dentistry, Drs. Martin and Taylor have maintained a perfect record in their sterilization procedures and practices.
Room Surfaces: Sterilization Between Patients
At Martin Taylor Dentistry all surfaces in the room are sterilized after each patient leaves and before the next patient enters. Surfaces such as the chair, the light, the trays and the equipment unit are cleaned with a solution that totally eradicates bacteria (including the one that causes tuberculosis), viruses, and fungi, along with other disease-causing organisms. The dentists and their assistants don fresh masks and gloves for each new patient. They even make sure to clean their eyeglasses between patients.
Dental Instruments: Sterilization Using a Rigorous 5-Step Procedure
The dental instruments undergo a meticulous 5-step sterilization procedure between uses. It starts with a manual scrubbing of each instrument surface. After the scrubbing the instrument undergoes an ultrasonic enzyme bath. It is then rinsed and placed in a special sealed package where it will remain for the rest of the process. The autoclave is a high-temperature steam sterilization unit, kind of like an oven. The instruments, still in their packaging, are placed into the autoclave for the last sterilization step. When the color indicator on the package has changed, it is evidence that the instrument has been thoroughly sterilized. This sterilized packaging will not be opened until the patient is literally in the dental chair.
Constant Monitoring of Sterilization Equipment
The autoclave is evaluated every week to be sure it is in perfect working order. A special indicator is placed into the autoclave to check for any possible spore contamination. There have never been any spores found in the autoclave at the Martin-Taylor offices. This test along with the color indicators on the packaging is a double assurance that all instruments are 100% sterile and safe for patients.
So, if like Carol, you have heard some disturbing news about unsanitary conditions in an out-of-state dental practice, be assured that if you’re a patient at Martin Taylor Dentistry you can put your concerns to rest. The rigorous sterilization processes they use are consistent and thorough. Their perfect record over 34 years shows that!
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