Dental Safety Sterilization : Grove City for Dentistry
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Office Safety Procedures

exam roomWe want you to know you are safe when you visit our dental practice!

At The Grove City Center for Dentistry, we are proud that our safety and infection control protocols have always exceeded the guidelines of  the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) – from our clean, sterile environment, to our hospital-level sterilization laboratory and our stringent weekly testing protocols via The Ohio State University

Our GCCD team loves our patients. Our safety and yours is of the utmost importance. Our guiding principle is to always treat every patient like family. . . because you are. We have and always will implement infection control standards to protect all family members, whether you are our patients, staff, or our own children. And, we want you to know that you are safe here in our office. 

On top of our existing stringent infection control standards, we added additional protocols in light of the Covid-19 Pandemic. We are doing all that we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect our patients, team, and families, and we appreciate that you do your part, as well!

We have outlined below our existing protocols and additions recommended by the CDC, OSHA and the ADA to keep everyone safe.

GCCD Team Safety and Health Guidelines

  • Team members are asked to enter the office with their regular clothes on and must change into their scrubs and shoes at the office. At the end of each workday, team members will use our individual changing rooms in our basement locker room to change back into their street clothes and shoes. Uniforms are professionally cleaned.
  • Team members also keep a separate pair of “work” shoes at the office to wear each day.
  • Just like our patients, we will screen every team member each day.  If a team member has a temperature of 100.4°F, we will send him or her home.
  • If a direct family member of one of our team members displays signs of any type of respiratory infection and/or fever, that employee will stay home. 
  • Cell phones are kept away from patient treatment areas, cleaned regularly, and kept in a plastic bag. 
  • Proper usage of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves, jackets/gowns, and face shields will be worn to protect our team and patients..
  • Before leaving the office, team members must dispose of all PPE appropriately, disinfect and/or sanitize reusable PPE, then wash their hands thoroughly.

Prior to your appointment

Patient Forms for New + Current Patients
  • We ask that you complete all patient forms online, by visiting the Patient Forms page on our website. 
  • While we understand that some patients may not have ready access to technology, please make every effort to complete the online forms prior to your visit. This enables our staff to safely input any information into our secure patient management system without the risk of transferring bacteria from paper.
  • If you have not completed your patient forms prior to your visit, we may ask you to do so upon your arrival while waiting in your car. 
  • If you need assistance with accessing or completing the forms, please call us immediately so we can walk you through the process.

Health Screening Calls + Appointment Reminders

Our team will be contacting you via phone, text and/or email a bit more frequently prior to your appointment to assess if your health has changed in any way or if you are experiencing respiratory symptoms of any kind. If any symptoms arise, please let us know immediately or if a member of your household could be infected and we will reschedule your appointment.

When you arrive for your appointment

  • In order to avoid any risk to family members, patients must enter our office unaccompanied by another party. Exceptions to this rule include minors, and seniors or other patients in need of physical assistance.
  • We will make every effort to stay on time with your appointment. However, please understand that unexpected delays may occur in the dental office due to the room sterilization process we must implement between each patient. 
  • If at all possible, please use the restroom before you arrive or enter the office to prevent the need for excess disinfection of surfaces.
  • On the day of your appointment, we will send you a text message reminding you to let us know when you arrive. 
  • Upon your arrival, simply text us back to let us know you are here. Or, feel free call us at 614-875-3141.
  • We will text or call you to let you know when we are ready for you to come into our office. 
  • When you walk in our door, we will
    • Greet and welcome you 🙂
    • Immediately give you a mask to wear to protect you and our team
    • Ask you to use the provided hand-sanitizer to prevent contamination on surfaces when in the treatment rooms
    • Take your temperature 
    • Ask key questions to assess your health and symptoms
  • If your fever is higher than 100.4°F or if you answer yes to our screening questions, we will ask you to return home and we will reschedule your appointment. 
  • Then, we will walk you directly to your treatment room, as we are not allowing any patients to sit in the reception area.

After you leave the reception area, our front desk team will wipe the door handles and any other surfaces that may have been touched. 

Our Patient Treatment Room Protocol

Prior to your visit to our treatment room, we want to assure you that every room has been disinfected via our rigid cleaning protocols. We disinfect every room before and after a procedure to ensure that it is safe to visit our practice. And our team wears PPE for each patient/procedure.

  • After our team member walks you back to the treatment room, we will ask you to have a seat in the dental chair, and then rinse two times with a 1% hydrogen peroxide and sterile water solution to reduce any bacteria in your mouth. 
  • Devices will be used when possible during treatment to reduce the amount of aerosol produced. 
  • To reduce the level of aerosols during a procedure, we will use either a rubber dam or a hi-suction dental shield on the suction device in your mouth. We will use both high-speed and low-speed suction whenever possible.
  • Upon completion of your dental treatment, we will escort you to our check-out station so you can finalize your payment. 

Our Treatment Room Sterilization Protocol 

After you leave the treatment room, our room and instrument sterilization process begins.

  • All disposable materials, such as covers for the exam light handle, headrest, instrument tray, air-water syringe tips (the little thing that squirts water or air into your mouth), and the x-ray unit button will be discarded immediately after use.
  • All surfaces are disinfected and non-disposable equipment is sterilized appropriately immediately following use or contamination. 

Our Hospital-Level Sterilization Lab

  • All used instruments are removed and taken into our hospital-grade, state of the art-sterilization-lab, and put them into the sterilization bay. Our bay is set up to move instruments from used to sterile.
  • Our two sterilization technicians, Chris and Britney, place the used instruments into an enzymatic cleaner which is an ultrasonic bath.  When we turn the cleaner on, it vibrates at a high capacity to “loosen” saliva and bacteria.
  • Then they place the instruments into a hydrim, which is an automated instrument washer. The hydrim washes and rinses all of the debris and bacteria off of the instruments, and then dries them.
  • The instruments are removed from the hydrim and wrapped in special packaging called a cassette.  Cassettes keep all dental instruments for a specific procedure together and require less handling after the sterilization process is complete.
  • The instrument cassette is labeled with its sterilization date and then placed into an autoclave, which is a steam pressure sterilizer. Steam pressure is the most widely used and the most dependable method of sterilization because it is non-toxic, rapidly heats, penetrates, and kills bacteria.
  • Every instrument wrap and cassette has a biological indicator to be a second confirmation that the instruments are sterilized. Once the instruments are sterilized and the indicator confirms this, the instruments are removed from the autoclave, moved to the sterile side of our sterilization bay.
  • One of our sterilization technicians takes the sterile instruments, still in their sealed cassettes, to the treatment room. The instruments remain sealed until they are needed for a patient procedure. 

In accordance with OSHA guidelines, we test our sterilization equipment every week. We take extra steps to ensure our sterilization process is hospital grade, by sending our sterilization test out to The Ohio State University College of Dentistry Sterilization Monitoring Service. After testing, OSU sends a report or clean bill of health. This extra step in our process ensures that we are working at a hospital standard level of sterilization. To date, we have passed 100% of our tests.

Our safety and sterilization protocols are just one example of our goal to protect each and every GCCD family member. We will continue to do everything possible and reasonable to ensure the most comfortable environment while upholding the strictest of safety precautions. Please contact us at any time with comments or concerns