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    4 extreme measures taken in the name of infection control

    Sometimes dental practices make their lives more difficult than they need to.



    Extreme disinfection

    When disinfecting a surface, it’s necessary to follow the manufacturer’s directions when using a product. However, in rare occasions, a practice may do more than is necessary.

    Dr. Fluent consults with a dental office that uses trays for their delivery system. The trays, she says, should be cleaned and disinfected with a surface disinfectant between patients – that is all that is required.

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    “But this office uses a barrier protection in addition to using an intermediate-level surface disinfectant,” Dr. Fluent says. “They apply a plastic wrap to protect each tray, and then the plastic barrier is removed and the tray is cleaned and disinfected in between. I questioned it, and the owner dentist is aware that this is above and beyond the call of duty; however, she felt more comfortable providing both the barrier and the surface disinfectant. If this dentist chose to wrap trays AND utilize a surface disinfectant for SOME patients due to specific information on health histories, this would be a problem, as it does not conform to Standard Precautions. However, as long as this was the office policy, a facility-specific policy, and she did it for all of the trays, for every patient, that’s fine, and we just let it go.

    “It’s not in contradiction with CDC guidelines for any other infection control protocols,” she adds. “It’s not necessary, but it’s not hurting anybody.”

    Braendle, too, has encountered practices unnecessarily duplicating their efforts.

    One practice he visited was cleaning everything down with one brand of disinfectant, and then going back over it all again with SciCan’s OPTIM disinfectant.

    “Why are you doing in a second time?” Braendle wonders. “Any one of those products, as long as you’re following the instructions for the product, is fine. You’re just doubling up. As long as you’re doing everything properly, you’re taking care of everything.”

    “We tell people – with sterilization and also bugs on the countertop – when you’re doing proper disinfection, ‘dead is dead.’”


    Robert Elsenpeter
    Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics. He is also the author ...


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