How to Know a Dentist is in Compliance: 3 Key Factors

A Focus on Infection Control

Let’s face it, no one loves going to the dentist, but knowing an office is implementing proper safety measure makes it a bit easier. Covid put a completely new twist on everything from flying on a plane to pushing a cart at the grocery store. Now a days, patients in the dental office have compliance concerns that they want addressed before visiting the dentist.

So, let’s make sure you know what a modern-day visit to the dentist, should look like.  Let’s put our “Focus on Infection Control” and discover “The (3) Key Factors” that a dental practice should have in place, prior to your next dental appointment.

Covid in Dentistry

It’s important to realize that Covid-19 is an air-borne, contagious disease.  One that can travel through air and droplets. Many dental procedures involve high-powered handpieces that drive air, water and oral fluids into the dental environment.  

This has posed an alarming concern for dental professionals and the safety of their patients. Since the early on-set of COVID, the American Dental Association has worked in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) & Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) to create a new doctrine of dental office safety rules that have proved to be exceptional in this new age of dentistry!  

Yes, an enhanced “Focus on Infection Control” has ranked conscientious dental offices as the safest and cleanest amongst healthcare facilities at large!

So how do you know if your dentist is mindful of this new era and the new Infection Control Guidelines?  Here are (3) things to look for before you “open wide” for your next appointment:

Key Factor #1: Wholly Headgear!

Prior to COVID, the average patient did not pay much attention to masks or the other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that dental team members were wearing.  Now, through this pandemic outbreak, PPE is the on-trend—new-normal! 

Even patients have to participate in the mask compliance.  Even when mask mandates lift, don’t be too quick to roll into your next dental appointment, showing your pearly whites.  A dentist in compliance has been successful at ranking so highly in protecting patients and employees—because they adhere to mask mandates as they apply to the healthcare setting. 

This means that patients and employees should still be wearing appropriate face coverings.  Especially since the dental office does have more bio-aerosols floating around!  Smile under that mask!  And breathe a sigh of relief that your dentist is “a head” of the curve! 

Key Factor #2: Vaccination Urban Myth

These days, a common question these days from patients:  “Are all of your Employees Vaccinated?  I only want to see the ones that are!”  Due to privacy laws, dental practice owners need to keep this information private. 

Dentists do have to establish and enforce either a voluntary or mandatory vaccination policy.  Then, keep all employee healthcare information—confidential.  The great news for you, is that the conscious dental office will be wearing all of their headgear, PPE and focusing heavily on infection control measures.

Key Factor #3: Infection Control Protocols

What has changed within the dental office when it comes to Infection Control?  Just about everything!  From the dental chair water needing to be tested for “drinkable quality standards” to stricter “hospital grade levels” for bagging, dating and sterilizing the instruments, the new era of dentistry demands stricter, scrutiny when it comes to infection control, disease prevention and sterilization protocols. 

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control, in conjunction with OSHA, put out a 46-page publication, called:  The CDC’s Summary of Infection Prevention for the Dental Setting.  This CDC / OSHA enforced document, is the new standard, by which all USA dental offices must be practicing. 

The best way to know if your dental team is up to snuff?  Take a look at the summary.  Review specifically the blue-boxed featured areas.  Call and your dental team; Ask to speak to their Infection Control Officer and inquire about their water testing habits,  instrument sterilization steps, and PPE compliance?

Is Your Dentist in Compliance?

Is your current dental office keeping up?  Most modern-day dental offices take exceptional pride in their new infection control efforts.  Their Infection Control Officer should be happy to showcase and share with you their “Focus on Infection Control”.  When it comes to sterilization and disinfection in the modern dental office—Quality Counts!! 

Find dental offices that are in compliance

Dental Enhancements provides safety and wellness compliance consultations to dental teams nationwide.  We are passionate about teaching dental teams the most current, state-of-the-art OSHA, Infection Control & HIPAA protocols so that their “Focus on Infection Control” will help YOU, the patient, sigh a breath of relief, smile, open wide and LOVE your next dental appointment!

For more information on compliance or complaint dental offices in your area, reach Dental Enhancements at 941-587-2864.

Jill Obrochta - Dental Enhancements

Jill Obrochta - Dental Enhancements

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Written by: Jill Obrochta - Dental Enhancements

Director of Research & Development.


Curator: The Dental Scout Team

25+ Years of dental experience


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