Patient Safety

patient safety at the dentistYour Safety Under Our Care

Few patients realize the effort that takes place behind the scenes to make your dental visits with us completely safe. A lot of preparation goes into your visit!

Every article used in your treatment is sterilized in an approved manner, or is used only for you, then discarded afterwards. What exactly does it mean when we say our instruments are sterilized? Sterilization is the destruction of all forms of microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria, spores and fungi.

Instruments are cleaned of debris in an ultrasonic disinfectant bath, then sterilized in either one of two approved methods. Our surgical instruments are sterilized in sealed nylon bags under pressurized steam for thirty minutes. This sterilizer (our "autoclave") is periodically tested for effectiveness.

Instruments for fillings, cleanings, and root canals are sterilized in our dry heat oven for two hours together with the metal trays that hold them. This insures no break in the chain of sterility.

A third method of sterilization, uncommon in most dental offices, is a rapid heat sterilizer. This allows us to sterilize orthodontic instruments and other items at a high temperature in a short period of time.

Countertops and drawer handles in our treatment rooms are wiped down between patients with an approved chemical disinfectant. Items touched frequently during treatment are wrapped with disposable plastic wraps.

sterilizerWith increasing worries of infectious diseases have come increasing patient questions about sterilization of our handpieces (drills.) Both our high and low speed handpieces are sterilized by pressurized steam, and kept in sterile bags until used in your treatment. The burs we use are sterilized, too!

My use of the rubber dam during root canals and fillings adds an extra measure to your safety. Few people think of it in terms of infection control, and few dentists take the trouble to use the rubber dam to the extent that I do. Used properly, the rubber dam effectively isolates your gums and saliva from my gloved hands and instruments. It adds another barrier to microorganisms, and prevents anything from going down your throat!

Safety In Perspective
There is no activity in life that is 100% safe. You may be killed on the highway while driving. Should you stop driving to increase your life expectancy? Of all the places you visit in your life, probably one of the safest is the dental office.

What you should remember is that there are great risks of not having regular dental treatment, and even more risks are being discovered. For instance, did you know about recent links between atherosclerosis and uncontrolled periodontal disease? That’s right! Besides suffering tooth loss because of the lack of regular dental care, you may also be jeopardizing the health of your arteries! Teeth are connected to the rest of your body, and the health of your mouth affects the health of the rest of your body.

Any tiny risk you imagine inherent in dental treatment is far outweighed by the extraordinary and well-documented risk of avoiding all dental treatment. We do not wish you to jeopardize your precious teeth because of unfounded fears.

Our goal is for you to feel comfortable in our office and secure in receiving treatment. So please, if you have any questions, concerns, or worries please Contact Us. We will be happy to give you the facts and set your mind at ease.

KIM HENRY D.M.D., P.C. · COMPLETE & CARING DENTISTRY · PH: 404.761.2525 · CONTACT US
3619 South Fulton Avenue · Henry Tower Suite 100 · Hapeville, Georgia 30354

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