Dental procedures are very precise; hence, any error will have an impact on your health. Like any other medical institution, dental offices also need to follow certain safety procedures and standards.
So, let’s take a look at safety procedures that you and your dentist should follow.
For a Dentist- Things to Remember
As a dentist, here are some standards that you should be aware of.
- Dentists’ offices need to follow Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standards to ensure the safety and health of the employees. The diseases, chemicals and equipment at a dentist’s office are potential hazards. Thus, all employees should be well trained and updated on the equipment and procedures.
- American Dental Association has (ADA) has a committee called Standards Committee on Dental Products (SCDP) that comes up the standards for dental equipment and material. So as a dentist, you can refer to these standards before purchasing dental equipment, as they will help you to ensure safety of your patients and employees.
- Equipment used must have the required certifications. Take for example laser. Laser equipment that you are planning to buy must be cleared by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Premarket Notification [510(k)]. Apart from equipment certifications, dentists must also research well into the efficiency of the tools.
- Maintain electronic health records, which will help you take a better decision on treatment looking at the past treatment and medical records of that patient.
- Use radiography cautiously. Though x-rays are used in very low intensity, it is best to restrict the exposure of the patient to radiation.
- Take steps to ensure that patient’s other body parts are not harmed. For example, protect the eyes from being damaged by particles during drilling. Also ensure that patient does not swallow these particles.
- Most of the tools used at the dentist’s office are reusable. Hence, thorough cleaning and sterilization are important to ensure that patients don’t go back with diseases.
For a Patient – Things to Remember
As a patient heading for a dental treatment, here are the things that you can do to ensure your safety.
- Firstly, visit a dentist who has a good reputation. At reliable dental offices, you can be sure of necessary certifications, licenses and training to be in place.
- Pay special attention to any medical condition you have, consult with your doctors and communicate about it to your dentist. These conditions can interfere with your treatment at the dental office.
- If your dentist recommends x-ray, confirm with them if it is really necessary. While x-rays are crucial in diagnosis and safe also, it is best to restrict one’s exposure to x-rays. If it is a necessary procedure, ensure that the dentist gives you a lead apron.
- Carefully observe your dentist’s equipment and practices. Is your dentist wearing gloves, using sterilized tools, and maintaining a clean ambience?
- Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist about certifications and licenses for using equipment and technology.
Remember, your safety is as much your dentist’s responsibility as it is yours.