Cross Infection Control – Helping To Keep Patients Safe

A look at the small, but important role that our Bedford dental practice plays in preventing the spread of infections.

Specialist dentist using a microscopeViruses are big news at the moment. It is difficult to ascertain how serious the current situation might end up being but it does serve to highlight the importance of limiting the spread of viruses in general.

When it comes to cross infection control, there are a number of areas where we can take certain steps locally to help prevent infection both for our patients and our dental team.

Our dental practice

The Dental Centre Bedford is based in a modern building in the Meiklejohn Centre. The very nature of this type of building makes it easier to keep clean than older facilities, but doing this in a medical practice of any sort, including dental, involves much more than simply ‘sweeping up’. It is very important that the environment is kept as hygienic as possible for the safety of our patients and to that end, both our general and surgical areas are subjected to regular deep cleaning.

The same goes for all of our equipment such as probes and drills. These are thoroughly sterilised after each use to make sure that the risk of cross infection is kept to an absolute minimum.

Our dentists

You will notice, whether you have a check up or an invasive treatment such as root canal therapy, that all of our dentists wear both masks and surgical gloves in order to prevent cross infection either from dentist to patient or patient to dentist. This relates both to airborne infections but also blood born ones that could potentially occur where procedures such as an extraction are carried out. Both masks and gloves are single use and will be hygienically disposed of after use.

Whilst wearing gloves is an obvious precaution, you can also be assured that our dentists wash their hands in between each patient appointment as well.

Although we don’t like to do so; where a patient arrives for an appointment who is obviously ill with a virus such as the flu, our dental team reserve the right to refuse treatment until such a time that they have recovered and are no longer at a risk of infecting others.

How our patients can help

With any virus, it is important that we all play our part in helping to prevent it from spreading. Whilst some viruses are relatively mild, others can be more serious and any of them can have a negative effect on the health of vulnerable older patients and those with depleted immune systems. It is therefore important, on their behalf, that we do what we can to prevent infections from spreading. Although the British have a bit of a reputation for ‘just getting on with it’, this is not always good advice and patients who are suffering from a viral infection especially should probably limit situations where they mix with others as much as they can.

To this end, if you are feeling ill and suspect that you might have a virus, you may wish to consider whether to cancel your dental appointment with us until you have recovered. We do appreciate it if you can give us as much notice as possible so that others may take your appointment spot, but even where it is last minute, please do still let us know.

We also supply hand sanitiser gels in the reception areas and we encourage you to make use of these. Also please make sure to wash your hands thoroughly, particularly after using the washroom facilities.

We hope that today’s blog helps to assure patients that when they attend The Dental Centre Bedford, they can do so in the knowledge that we take patient and staff health very seriously. We monitor new laws and recommendations and implement them quickly to further improve health and safety within the practice environment.

If you would like to find out more about our practice and the wide variety of treatments that we offer, please call our team today on 01234 819868.