A Letter to Our Patients on Safety and Health Guidelines
Recent articles and sensationalist TV programs concerning patient safety in a dental office have raised concerns in the community. The Dentists and Staff of Glenview Dental Associates want to reassure all of our patients that we take your health and that of your family very seriously. Nothing is more important to us than providing you with the finest in dental care, in a comfortable and completely safe environment. Also, don't forget our staff, our children, our parents, and we ourselves are treated as patients in both our offices. Safety, precautions, cleanliness, and sterility, then, are paramount to us as well.
How do we achieve these? It begins with the use of the obvious and visible things such as disposable plastic covers on the dental chairs, lights, to the use of individually packed sterile tray set ups, to the gloves, masks, and uniforms we wear. Gloves are discarded after every patient and often several pairs of gloves are used during a single procedure. All of this is to assure your safety and, of course, ours. In fact, a great number of supplies used are all "single-use items" and are thrown away after every patient visit. The bottom line is anything used for your care is either brand new or completely sterile. We use hospital-grade sterilization equipment and follow a strict sterilization protocol. On both a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, we use sterilization monitoring systems to ensure our equipment is functioning properly.
A recent "hot topic," has been the concern of the high bacterial count and the presence of biofilm in a dental office’s water lines. Biofilm is a thin layer of microorganisms that accumulates in common devices used to transport water such as showerheads, faucets, soda fountains, and others. Consequently, just as biofilm exists in the plumbing in your home or office, it also is present in the waterlines of dental offices that connect the high-speed handpieces (drills), air/water syringe, and ultrasonic scaler to the water supply.
What we are especially proud of—and known for—is our self-contained water system. These independent water reservoirs eliminate any chance of cross-contamination and build-up of biofilm in the water lines. This is because we use sterile distilled water for each and every patient.
At the end of each individual’s appointment, we throw out "their" water and place new water from our own water distiller. To ensure further safety for our patients, we routinely flush the water lines for at least 20 seconds between patients, thus eliminating all water contaminants. At the end of each night, we further flush all our evacuation lines and clean all our suction traps thus further reducing the risk of cross-contamination.
We hope this answers your questions about our commitment to safety and sterilization. If you have any further concerns or questions, please feel free to call us or ask us at your next visit. We would be happy to answer them and show you our "state-of-the-art" sterilization techniques.
The Doctors and Staff of
Glenview Dental Associates