Dr. Hoang used to work for a large well-know biopharmaceutical prior to attending dental school, working on a quality control team in charge of monitoring all environmental surfaces. This means she learned awesome aseptic technique prior to becoming a dentist, moreso than is demanded of dental office infection control. She trains each team member personally. Proper infection control is important to her, therefore it is also important to the team.
Lamorinda Dental Care has invested in a Class B steam autoclave, the Lisa Sterilizer by Adec. This is the only Class B autoclave on the market in the United States. All US hospitals are required to use Class B sterilizers and in Europe it is mandated for all dental offices. In the United States it is only optional if the dental office wants to pay for the more expensive Class B type of autoclave, although in the future there are plans for the requirements to change. The difference in Class B and Class S sterilizers is that Class B sterilizers will go through a pre- and post- sterilization vacuum. Why this is important is although both classes will sterilize identically, Class B sterilizers’ complete cycle produces dry packages. Dry autoclave bags and autoclave wrap will protect the sterile contents from recontamination, whereas wet packaging (Class S) cannot protect the contents inside.
Adec ICC and Hu-Friedy IMS
Two big names in the dental industry, both are used exclusively at Lamorinda Dental Care when it comes to sterility and patient and staff safety. The Adec ICC “Stericenter” is the long sterilization center you see in the office. In place is a very structured sterilization sytem that insures that protocols and systems are followly properly. We have chosen to make our sterilization procedure “open” so that patients can see for themselves how instruments are handled and sterilized.
Instruments are mainly stored and utilized in “stainless steel cassettes”, not plastic trays that are commonly not sterilized from patient to patient in other offices. They are wrapped in hospital grade wrap, which in addition is more green than traditional autoclave bags and the entire package is run through the autoclave.
Good, well-organized systems not only ensure sterility, they promote safety for the staff, as dental tools are sharp.
System of checks a balances
Spore checks are sent off to a third party for routine bi-weekly (occuring every two weeks). Every cycle of the autoclave includes a sterilization steam indicator test strip, and every package includes sterilization steam indicator tape.
Every patient we work on we use brand new gloves on–that’s pretty obvious, right? We take it one step further and use a brand new mask per patient also.
Critical Surface Disinfection
We use Cavicide CaviWipes at our office, which have a maximum working time of 3 minutes and are designed to kill TB, MRSA, HBV, HIV, HCV and entire list of microorganisms. CaviWipes have the added benefit of not being harsh on the respiratory system.