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Tips for Checking Infection Control Procedures at Your Dentist

In the wake of last week’s news about cross infection at a Tulsa, Oklahoma dentist’s office, CNN.com has published some tips online to see how your dentist handles the issue of infection control procedures.

Watch the Gloves: Gloves should be changed in between patients. Dentists should only touch sterile instruments or your mouth; if anything else is touched or the dentist leaves the room, a new pair of gloves should be put on.

Check out the Office: How clean is the office? A cluttered, unclean office might mean there are sterilization issues.

Ask for Autoclave Validation: Autoclave validation, or biological monitoring, is a way of checking how well the office’s sterilization machine is function. You can request to see a copy of your dentist’s autoclave validation.

Check the Instruments: Your dentist should unwrap a sealed pack of instruments in front of you. The sealed bag indicates the instruments have been sterilized. Some autoclave bags have a color indicator on them to show that the instruments inside were sterilized.

Speak Up: Don’t be afraid to ask questions while at the dentist. Engaging your dentist in conversation can give you peace of mind when it comes to how he or she handles proper infection control procedures.