This is the last of the 3 part series that addresses the approach towards dentistry in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our earlier articles talk about the other steps of risk assessment & personal protection.
One of the most critical steps in reducing the risk of transmission is maintaining a clean, aseptic environment in the dental operatory. With multiple procedures in dentistry producing aerosols, it is imperative that all suspected surfaces that could hoard the virus are disinfected using medical grade disinfectants.
The WHO recommends that hospital-grade cleaning and disinfecting agents are to be used for all horizontal and frequently touched surfaces (e.g., light switches, door handles, bed rails, bed tables, phones) and bathrooms being cleaned at least twice daily and when soiled.
Visibly dirty surfaces should first be cleaned with a detergent (commercially prepared or soap and water) and then a hospital-grade disinfectant should be applied, according to manufacturers’ recommendations for volume and contact time. After the contact time has passed, the disinfectant may be rinsed with clean water.
The CDC Recommendations for disinfection of surfaces & equipment in a dental operatory are as follows:
- Dental instruments that penetrate soft tissue or bone (e.g., extraction forceps, scalpel blades, bone chisels, periodontal scalers, and surgical burs) are classified as critical and should be sterilized after each use or discarded
- After each use, sterilize dental instruments that are not intended to penetrate oral soft tissue or bone (e.g., amalgam condensers, air-water syringes) but that might contact oral tissues and are heat-tolerant, although classified as semicritical.
- Noncritical clinical contact surfaces, such as uncovered operatory surfaces (e.g., countertops, switches, light handles), should be barrier-protected or disinfected between patients with an intermediate-disinfectant (i.e., EPA-registered hospital disinfectant with a tuberculocidal claim) or low-level disinfectant
- Barrier protective coverings can be used for noncritical clinical contact surfaces that are touched frequently with gloved hands during the delivery of patient care, that are likely to become contaminated with blood or body substances, or that are difficult to clean
- Change these coverings when they are visibly soiled, when they become damaged, and on a routine basis (e.g., between patients).
It is clear that disinfection practices carried out in dental clinics will have to change in order to adapt to the current times. Ensure that you buy recommended disinfection products from trusted sources. With multiple options of disinfectants popping up, make the right choice by checking certifications & standards that the products have been awarded.
PinkBlue, working alongside Sanmed Healthcare, have been able to help multiple hospitals & clinics source the right disinfection products. Sanmed products are manufactured at modern manufacturing facilities adhering to the WHO GMP standards. They adhere to strict quality control practicees in order to meet the quality of the products as per Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), following good Documentation Procedures (GDP) and Good Laboratory Practices (GLP).
Click on the image below to know more about medical-grade surface disinfectants used by India’s top hospitals.
I hope our 3 part series had helped to gain a better understanding of approaching a post-Covid-19 world as a dentist. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any specific doubts, and we will try addressing them in the upcoming blog posts.