How do You Respond? Dirty Instruments found at Oral Surgery Practice

Special Guest Blog from Leslie Canham

Leslie Canham

A Tulsa Oral Surgery practice was shut down due to breaches in infection control and other violations such as allowing dental assistants to perform IV sedation on patients.

As a result of an Oklahoma Board of Dentistry investigation, it was determined that more than 7000 patients may have been exposed to Hepatitis and HIV from contaminated instruments and unsafe injection practices.  Instruments were improperly sterilized and were rusted,  peeling, and had debris on them. The dentist is also suspected of using single vials of medications on multiple patients.

How can Dental Professionals respond to the questions that may arise from current media attention on infection transmission?

  1. Inform your patients that you follow all dental board regulations pertaining to infection control.
  2. Explain that all dental team members only perform procedures that they are trained and licensed to perform.
  3. Reassure patients that your practice sterilizes instruments according to the CDC Guidelines for Infection Control and that sterilizers are tested weekly to validate sterilization processes are working.
  4. Explain that appropriate disinfectants are used correctly after every patient.
  5. Provide information on how instruments are packaged or wrapped in sterile pouches or cassettes.
  6. Show patients that some items are considered single use items and are disposed of after each patient.Training and education on infection control helps the dental team perform their tasks confidently and correctly.  Breaches in infection control can jeopardize patient and dental worker safety.  Dental Boards nation wide will be forced to look more closely at infection control to ensure consumer protection. OSHA will likely be more focused on employee safety in dental practices.For more information on the story Click here 

    Scroll down to test your own infection control knowledge

unsafe handling of sharps

Quiz Time: Now look at this photo. What are the 2 safety concerns you see?

Click here for the answer:












Did you guess correctly?

Handling Contaminated Instruments Without Wearing Utility Gloves
Skin Exposed Between Glove and Clinical Jacket