Protect the safety of your dental team and patients
In preparation for seeing patients in an emergency, or as offices are reopening again, this is an excellent time to conduct detailed cleaning. Emphasis for cleaning and disinfection should be placed on surfaces that are most likely to become contaminated with pathogens, including clinical contact surfaces (e.g., frequently touched surfaces such as light handles, bracket trays, switches on dental units, computer equipment) in the patient-care area. Clean and disinfect the room and equipment according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guide, "Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Settings: Basic Expectations for Safe Care."1
Dental settings have unique characteristics that warrant additional infection control considerations. In addition to cleaning, disinfecting or discarding surface supplies, use products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims—refer to List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2.2
- Be sure to don gloves to protect your hands during the cleaning process.
- Remove gloves properly and discard in the waste.
- Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.3
The American Dental Association has long been a source of information for the dental professional. Policies and procedures for routine cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces should be included as part of the infection prevention plan.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Settings: Basic Expectations for Safe Care. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept of Health and Human Services; October 2016.
2. https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2. Accessed 14 Apr 2020.
3. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/dental-settings.html. Accessed 9 Apr 2020.