Revisiting Standard Precautions to be Prepared for COVID-19 Advisories

Editor's Note: Information about COVID-19 is changing on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. We have made every attempt to ensure this article is up-to-date at the time of publication, but with the rapid changes occurring, some information may have changed since publication. Please visit https://www.coronavirus.gov/ for the latest news and information on COVID-19. If you have watched TV, listened to the radio,...

The Coronavirus Threat: How Should Dental Offices Be Prepared?

Editor's Note: Information about COVID-19 is changing on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. We have made every attempt to ensure this article is up-to-date at the time of publication, but with the rapid changes occurring, some information may have changed since publication. Please visit https://www.coronavirus.gov/ for the latest news and information on COVID-19. Declared a “public health emergency of international concern” on...

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...

Dentistry’s Aerosols: Giving the Dangerous Bugs the Attention they Deserve

Dental professionals must be aware of the potential risks involved within the dental clinic, educate themselves to prevent contamination, and protect all persons within their environment. The production of aerosols and splatter in dentistry is one of the biggest concerns about the spread of infection among both dental professionals and their patients. With over 700 species of bacteria,1 the mouth...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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