We are proud of our sterilization and infection control procedures and we take them very seriously. At Grand River Dental Centre your health and safety are important to us.
Many of our patients ask us questions about our sterilization procedures. Considering the ever-increasing number of contagious diseases in the news today, this is an understandable concern. You can rest assured that your health and safety are one of our primary concerns. The guidelines for sterilization and infection control in dentistry are called "Universal Precautions". We follow these guidelines for every one of our patients. The following are some of the methods we employ to assure your safety:
Statim (pressurized steam):
All dental instruments are sterilized in a high-pressure steam autoclave. We also sterilize all hand pieces (drills) and burs (drill bits) after each use. This process is the standard of care. Our new computerized autoclave informs us in the event of an incomplete sterilization cycle. As an added assurance we also employ an outside testing agency to ensure that our autoclave is producing sterile instruments.
Many of the items we use (plastics) are unable to tolerate the heat produced by steam sterilization. These items are sterilized in chemical solutions, which destroy both bacteria and viruses.
All surfaces including countertops, dental chairs, stools, light handles, and control buttons are disinfected with chemical solutions. These solutions are formulated to eliminate infectious bacteria and viruses that could otherwise proliferate on these surfaces.
Many of the items we use today are discarded after a single use. These items include saliva ejectors, high speed suction tips, drinking cups, rubber cleaning cups, patient bibs, tray covers, sterilization bags, mixing pads, mixing tips, anesthetic carpules, and needle tips. Gloves and masks are also discarded after each use.