Preparing Your Operatory to Ensure Safe Practice
Professionals and researchers in dentistry, medicine, and public health continue to discover more effective and innovative ways to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. In dental settings, operatory preparation and disinfection are essential to providing safe patient care. Adequate hand hygiene; proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE); and thoroughly disinfecting environmental surfaces, devices, and equipment are among the most important facets of basic infection control. Hand hygiene (eg, handwashing or hand sanitizing) is one of the most critical measures for reducing the risk of transmitting organisms to patients and oral health professionals, as it substantially reduces pathogens when performed properly. Meticulous planning for disinfection and sterilization of all aspects of the dental office, operatory, and equipment is essential for providing safe patient care. As the science related to COVID-19 remains fluid, oral health professionals will need to consistently seek updates on evidence-based guidelines and protocols.
Not all states require infection control continuing education for dental personnel, therefore, each oral health professional must strive to implement recommendations that represent current evidence and best practices.
Because oral health professionals are routinely exposed to blood and other potentially infectious materials, OSHA requires employers to provide which of the following to protect clinicians from such exposure?
OSHA does not stipulate that employers provide training and PPE for employees who handle chemicals.
Clinical contact surfaces can be directly contaminated either by patients’ fluid particles or contact with oral health professionals’ contaminated gloves.
Which of the following is a frequently touched surface that can serve as reservoirs for microbial contamination?
Manufacturer’s information for use should be reviewed to determine the appropriate method and products for the disinfection of dental equipment.
The creation of aerosols by rotary handpieces, ultrasonic devices, and air water syringes has become a major concern for the potential spread of viruses and microorganisms, including SARS-CoV-2.
Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems in a dental facility may disperse aerosol contaminants.
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