Infection Control Protocol at Archer Dental Offices
Infection prevention and control is an important part of safe patient care. Concerns about the possible spread of blood-borne diseases, and the impact of emerging, highly contagious respiratory and other illnesses, require practitioners to establish, evaluate, continually update and monitor their infection prevention and control strategies and protocols.
At Archer Dental, each operatory and all applicable equipment, dental instruments, and all areas touched by either patient or dentist or hygienist are cleaned and disinfected and sterilized after each use. Semi-critical and critical instruments, those that come into contact with mucous membrane or used to penetrate soft tissue or bone are reprocessed and sterilized following each dental procedure.
Sterilization at all three Archer dental locations is achieved by steam under pressure (autoclaving). In the photo to the right, you can see the dental assistant labeling the instrument package for sterilization with the date, time and load number which is used for quality control and documentation. This information must be collected according to the infection prevention and control standards of practice.
Staff at Archer Dental adhere to and comply with infection prevention and control policies and procedures. Staff understand that each patient expects the highest quality of safe dental care and that is what Archer Dental provides. We are veterans at safeguarding against the spread of harmful viruses and bacteria. We’ve been very active on this front for many years, long before the current health crises griped the planet (Coronavirus #Covid_19) and put new emphasis on the subject.
Dr Natalie Archer is a recognized expert in the field of infection control in dentistry. She spoke on Global News in 2017 about infection control in Ontario dental offices. Dr. Archer, along with Joan Hutchings, RN, CPN, BA, MSc, MPA, have taken the lead in creating a program to educate other dentists called SAFE Dentistry Inc.
SAFE Dentistry delivers a customized infection prevention and control audit program that evaluates and assists office staff to implement best practices. The four-pronged program reduces the risk of transmission of infection and disease for both patients and staff.
SAFE Dentistry’s program bring together fifty years combined clinical experience. It was in part developed by our own highly respected, successful dentist Dr. Natalie Archer, alongside the extensive knowledge and experience in infection prevention and control of an epidemiologist, surgical suite specialist, Joan Hutchings. Together they’ve created a province-wide service that arranges infection control consultants to assist Ontario dentists and staff working in dental clinics. The infection prevention and control specialist educate, advise and provide hands-on instruction assisting staff to achieve and adhere to recommended standards of practice, a requirement to provide safe services to the public as described by Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, Public Health Ontario and Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Patients can help SAFE Dentistry by becoming expert hand washers.
Patient Care at Archer Dental
Our staff use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect patients and themselves. Examples of PPE are masks, gloves, eye wear, gowns and drapes.
Patients and staff are provided with protective eye wear to shield their eyes from spatter and debris created during dental procedures. Protective eye wear is worn by patients throughout the dental appointment, then cleaned and disinfected after each use by dental assistants at each location.
Gloves are always worn by our staff when performing dental care. Depending on the type of procedure, our practitioners will choose between procedure gloves or sterile gloves. In most cases you will see the staff member put on gloves taken from a box. These gloves are disposable and are discarded immediately after each use. In addition, before gloves are put on, staff members will clean their hands by either washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer. Sterile gloves are used only for specific surgical procedures. Sterile gloves come packaged individually and our policy requires staff wear these gloves to maintain sterility.
Get ready to wear a bib. Here at Archer Dental, single-use bibs or drapes are always deployed to protect patients’ clothing and reduce their exposure to spatter or any moisture created during dental procedures. Single-use strips are used to secure bibs and drapes, in place of reusable daisy chains. We all suit-up in single use gowns during any form of dental surgery at Archer Dental
We use rubber dams and high-volume suction
Archer dental goes to great lengths to minimize the spread of droplets, spatter and spray created during dental procedures. Accordingly, we use a rubber dam whenever feasible, and high-volume suction is used whenever the creation of droplets, spatter and spray, if possible.
Waiting Room Etiquette
In our waiting rooms you will find Kleenex, hand sanitizer, masks, signage and a waste basket.
Please note our sign – If you do not feel well on the day of your appointment, report your condition to the secretary (please contact the office and have your appointment rescheduled). If you have a cough or runny nose, please help yourself to a Kleenex and dispose of it immediately in the waste basket.
Please cleanse you hands with hand sanitizer, using two full pumps, spreading the liquid over all surfaces of the hands by rubbing hands together for 15 seconds or until hands are dry. If you cough, please cough into a Kleenex and discard directly into waste basket, repeat hand hygiene. If you continue to cough, please put on a mask to reduce the possible spread of germs to others in the room.
Standards Achievement Facility Evaluation
We invite dentists and staff to take our mini survey to quickly determine how knowledgeable you are of the recommended infection prevention and control standards.