Posted on 4/9/2013 by Implant & Periodontal Associates NW
As many of you know, an Oklahoma dentist recently made headlines for allegedly exposing some of his patients to HIV and hepatitis through the use of unsanitary dental instruments.
Dr. W. Scott Harrington surrendered his dental license on March 20 after health department investigators discovered multiple sanitary violations at his practice. The news came as a shock to us, as it did to many dentists and patients. We wanted to take this opportunity to address this issue and discuss the various measures we take to ensure our patients are never exposed to these types of risks.
One of the reasons this story made the news is because these cases are extremely rare. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), only three cases of dental infection in patients have been documented in the United States since 1991.
All dentists, including our practice, are required to follow stringent sanitation and infection control guidelines set forth by the CDC. They include protocols for cleaning and sterilizing all tools, disinfecting all surfaces and work areas, and requiring clinical staff to wear disposable masks and gloves.
We also make sure our sterilization equipment is routinely tested, to ensure that it's working at full capacity. Every year, we're required to complete a continuing education course on infection control and cross-contamination. And we maintain a comprehensive health and safety manual as a reference for all staff to follow.
The health and safety of our patients is our number one concern. If you're interested in learning more about the sterilization methods we use in our office, we'd be happy to discuss them with you on your next visit.