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How Clean Are the Waterlines in Your Operatory?

Patients come to your dental office because they are looking to improve or maintain their health. Unfortunately, news stories too often emphasize the opposite effect. A patient becomes sick or even hospitalized, apparently because they visited a dental office. One recent report that made national headlines highlighted the tragic story of a seven-year-old girl, who had to have four...

5 Infection Control Mistakes to Avoid Part 1

Patient safety and infection control are top priorities for hygienists. Surprisingly, there are many dental offices that do not adhere to the latest safety and infection control protocols. Some dental professionals continue to use outdated or ineffective infection control methods because they have always used them, while other dental professionals simply skip over required infection control training. Below are five...

Why Hygienists Should NEVER Treat Patients with Active Oral Herpes

As a dedicated and meticulous dental hygienist, you may find yourself noticing small details that are unnoticed or dismissed by most people. So when a patient presents for her prophy with an active herpes simplex lesion on her lip (herpes labialis), your antennae immediately go up. As you mentally determine the best course of action to take, you calmly begin...

We Need to Talk About Hand Hygiene

Let’s take a quick break from teeth and all things dental for a moment and talk about our hands. More specifically, let’s talk about good hand hygiene and why we need to be talking about it. When I was a wee dental hygiene student, handwashing was a very big deal. The first thing we had to do upon entering the...

ASTM Mask Levels: What Should Dental Hygienists Wear?

There are a ton of different types of masks on the market. Dental masks vary in level, color and patterns, fit, comfort, and price. However, are we buying and using the correct mask for the procedures we are performing daily? As dental professionals, mask level is not something that is always thought about routinely. Some may not even realize...

Common Sense Infection Control Tips

Recently, I had the honor of listening to Dr. John A. Molinari, Ph.D. speak on “Health, Safety, Protection & Infection Control in the Dental Practice: Current Status 2019.” I was interested in attending his seminar to assure my office and I am up-to-date on the latest infection control recommendations. Needless to say, I was expecting a long, semi-boring, but...

Infection Control Tips: CDC App, Autoclaving, and Disinfection

As busy hygienists, we quickly become accustomed to the daily tasks of infection control. Staying on top of the latest OSHA recommendations can be a daunting task. Let’s face it, infection control isn’t the most engaging topic ever. To make checking for infection control measures easier, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new app, “CDC DentalCheck...

Vulnerable: When Shortcuts, Haste Threaten a Hygienist’s Safety

We do a lot to ensure our patients are protected while in the dental office. From infection control, safe work practices, and HIPAA compliance, we work very hard to protect our patients. However, when it comes to our own safety, we may tend to compromise. While focusing on the importance of protection for patients, we often forget that our...

5 More Infection Control Mistakes You Might Not Realize You’re Making

Infection control has always been a top priority for dental hygienists. After all, it is vital to create a safe treatment environment for patients and hygienists alike. However, some dental hygienists mistakenly endanger themselves and their patients by failing to update their protocols and best practices. After writing my previous article on infection control mistakes, I received a plethora...

Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation in Dental and Medical Settings as a Method of Sterilization

Contaminated surfaces, instruments, and airborne particles present in dental and medical settings are a potential health hazard to medical professionals and patients. Although these microbial populations can be minimized through preventive efforts such as pre-procedural rinses, plastics barriers and proper infection control, these microorganisms are still present in the operatory. Sterilization has been thoroughly studied for use in many...

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