You may notice that your dentist, along with the rest of their staff, is always wearing a mask when you are inside the actual dental procedure room. If you've ever wondered why they do this, the answer is a fairly simple one – the mask helps control the spread of infectious particles, and other unwanted germs that reside inside the human mouth.
Wearing these masks is also part of the protocol established by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. Any dental employee who may come into contact with blood must take part in training on infection control, and understanding the importance of a proper mask is part of that training.
Protecting The Dental Practitioner
All doctors likely come into contact with germs and particles while they are working, and a dentist is no different. This can range from a basic cold or virus to a major blood-borne disease.
Your dentist and their colleagues are preventing themselves from many infections that can be transmitted, and they also cover themselves from transferring any type of particles from one patient to the next.
Does The Mask Protect Me?
Your dentist’s mask, along with other sanitation procedures, are all done with your health and safety in mind. The dentist's mask protects you from any germs he or she may have picked up from other patients and limits the transmission of those germs. Dental work is often performed with the doctor and the patient within very close proximity of one another. The mask allows, among other things, for the doctor to communicate freely with the patient without having to move away from their work area to do so.
What Are Other Safety Precautions My Dentist Takes?
One of the first things you may see a dentist do is to wash their hands. They then apply sterile gloves, along with the mask. He or she will also have their instruments completely sterilized, and ready to provide a safe, sterile environment for your dental work. Dentists are required to sterilize their instruments in line with CDC and ADA guidelines, and they often utilize special machines to do so. A simple wash is not enough to completely sterilize dental instruments.
Items such as needles and other single-use equipment are thrown away after each use and a new one is used for each patient. Any item that is disposable that comes into contact with blood of any kind is thrown away in a special receptacle immediately after use is complete.
There are items in a dental room that cannot be sterilized in the same fashion as the instruments. Things like the X-ray machine, the counters, and other heavy equipment are typically wiped down and thoroughly cleaned after each and every patient visit.
Whenever you visit a medical professional, you should have high expectations of a clean, safe and sterile environment. The mask your dentist wears is part of that, and you shouldn’t allow any dental office that doesn’t require its staff to wear masks during procedures to work on your mouth. With Water Tower Dental Care, your safety and comfortability is our top priority. Contact us today to book an appointment.