Sterilization: Keeping Patients Safe

Patients here in Raleigh are sometimes curious about what steps we take to ensure the health of everyone in the office. The answer is “alot!”

Preventing and controlling the spread of infectious disease is crucial in the oral health community. The Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) and the American Dental Association have enacted thorough guidelines that help us create a safe environment for our patients and staff. By implementing proven cleaning and sterilization methods, North Raleigh Periodontics greatly reduces the risk of patients contracting any type of infectious disease.

Instrument Safety

At North Raleigh Periodontics, we ensure that every instrument is sterilized using the highest industry standards. Every instrument undergoes an intense sterilization process between each use.

First, we clean all our instruments by placing them in the ultrasonic machine. This machine uses ultrasonic vibrations to deep clean and destroy surface pathogens. Then we place the instruments in a heated dryer. The heated dryer eliminates moisture to prevent the regrowth of bacteria. Next, we bag each instrument individually and place it in an autoclave. The autoclave uses hot, pressurized, steam to destroy the protein structure of any potentially lingering bacteria and spores. After this process, the instrument is ready to use.

Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is basic but fundamental to protecting against infections. Every staff member washes their hands thoroughly throughout the day and before and after patient visits. Additionally, we use fresh gloves for each patient interaction, and we change gloves every time we touch a surface during every patient visit.

Clean Surfaces

Although seemingly a no-brainer, clean surfaces are crucial to upholding top-notch hygiene standards. To keep our surfaces bacteria-free, we disinfectant surfaces in the morning, evening, and throughout the day. We also cover surfaces with barriers that are changed between patients.

Personal Protective Equipment

To protect ourselves and our patients, we utilize personal protective equipment (“PPE”) . We use masks, gowns, shoe covers, gloves, caps, and facial shields. We change out the PPE between patients.

Air quality

We also use an air purification system in each operatory and in the waiting area. These systems use U-V light to kill any viral particles and circulate clean air throughout the office. We also use high-speed suction devices to remove aerosols from the vicinity of the patient.

Water Quality

Clean water is a key element in dental treatment. Cleaning the waterlines is a critical step to ensure the water quality meets the high standards of the Environmental Protection Agency. At North Raleigh Periodontics, we use our own internal water system to pump distilled water. We also employ steristraws that hook into the water lines to further sterilize the water as it flows through our system. Additionally, we flush the water lines daily and clean the water filters weekly.

In conclusion, we take every step to ensure that our facility is sterilized and bacteria-free for the health and safety of everyone who comes through our doors. You can rest easy knowing that when you visit North Raleigh Periodontics, you will be entering an environment that meets, and exceeds, industry standards.

Have questions? Give North Raleigh Periodontics a call at (919) 518-8222!