Keeping You Safe: How We Prevent Infections

Though we may look a bit impersonal in our protective glasses, masks and gloves, we wear these things to protect you from infection. For the same reason, we’re fanatics about keeping equipment and patient-care rooms clean. These steps help us to avoid spreading illnesses. Here are answers to the most common questions patients ask us about how we keep you safe.

Why do oral surgeons wash their hands so much?

Unclean hands are the most common cause of infections. Our oral surgeons, surgical assistants and other dental healthcare staff wash their hands often and thoroughly. We wash our hands:

  • before and after treating each patient
  • when they are visibly dirty
  • before putting on and after removing gloves
  • after touching instruments or equipment that may have blood or saliva with bare hands.

Why are gloves, masks, eyewear and protective clothing so important?

Like hand washing, wearing gloves, masks and protective eyewear reduces the chances of infection. Our oral surgeons, surgical assistants and other dental healthcare staff always wear gloves when caring for patients. We throw away gloves after each patient and put on new gloves before treating the next patient.

We also wear protective clothing, such as a reusable or disposable gown, during oral surgery and whenever we expect to have contact with blood, saliva or other materials that may be infectious.

What items have to be disinfected, and how often do you do it?

Between patients, The Center For Oral Surgery & Dental Implants cleans and disinfects or sterilizes all non-disposable dental instruments and equipment. We also clean and decontaminate all frequently touched surfaces or replace protective covers. Such surfaces include the dental chair, dental light, instrument tray, countertops and drawer handles. We use special disinfectants and/or detergents that are made for use in dental offices and other healthcare settings.

Is infection prevention different for oral surgeons than for regular dentists?

We take extra steps to prevent infection because things that cause infections are more likely to enter the body during oral surgery than during a regular visit to the dentist. Extra steps that we take to prevent infection include:

  • Using special surgical hand cleaners
  • Wearing sterile surgeon’s gloves
  • Using sterile water and sterile equipment to deliver the water.