From this article, you will learn some common mistakes in dental supplies and practices that can ruin your infection control efforts.

Dental clinics work with a lot of dental supplies in New South Wales (NSW) and that is why it is important to ensure that all the supplies they use adhere to the available safety standards. When it comes to infection control, dental practices should not compromise on anything. Nobody wants their patients or team member to acquire an infection but despite the good intentions that dental practitioners have, mistakes can happen. As a result of those mistakes, the risks for infection may increase. If you are guilty of making some of the following mistakes, you should work towards fixing them.


Not developing an infection control program

Each dental facility should develop and maintain an occupational health program and infection prevention program. Training and planning are vital to the infection control program of a dental practice. An inadequately written plan is a common problem that practices have. When you visit dental clinics, you will find out that there is no written program. One team member might train others on how to clean, reprocess and disinfect instruments but the protocol of the office is not written. Dental clinics may have an infection control manual that is thick and full of nice policies, resources, protocol, templates, and references for documentation, but it sits unwrapped on the shelf since it is of no use.

Every dental facility should have a written manual that is site-specific that may be utilised daily. Passing infection control protocol and policies to team members or staff members informally can lead to errors and misunderstandings during keeping dental supplies safe.

Improper PPEs

Personal protective equipment is necessary and something any dental clinic would have on hand. However, it is not enough to simply have it and even use it incorrectly. During any treatment where there is spatter or spray, they should leave the PPE at the site and not take it home. It should be changed between your patients whenever there is spatter or spray.

If a patient is there just having a cleaning or hygiene appointment, the hygienist would need to wear proper PPEs over their clothing and remove it after treatment of the patient and wear fresh PPE for the next patient. When a dentist is just coming in to do a quick exam, he or she might not need to change the PPE unless they were with another patient where spray or splatter happened on their PPE. It is important to spray or splatter but to avoid moving the spray or spatter on their PPE.

Not segregating dirty instruments

It is important to segregate dirty dental supplies NSW during reprocessing. This is not just for the sake of cleaning but also in case worse things happen. It is important to be able to identify instruments and tools used on a specific patient to be able to identify the patient in case of a cut by a contaminated instrument. In short, if they had 3 operatories, then take the dirty instruments on a tray from all of them and put them into the sink for sterilisation and get stuck by one of the instruments, the dentist needs to ask all the patients if they would agree to have a blood test and offer the test to the employee who got stuck.