September is Dental Infection Control Awareness Month - Back in March, The CDC released the new Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Settings: Basic Expectations for Safe Care. This is a must-read for every practice owner and clinician in the dental industry. Many of you might take issue with that last sentence. “Everyone knows about infection control,” you think. And yet new issues and new standards are coming to the fore every year.
To wit: Dental Unit Waterline water quality is finally being addressed in a more substantive way. Sterilization of handpieces is finally getting the attention it deserves. The CDC is now recommending that each dental practice have an Infection Control Coordinator. The Summary includes additional topics and information relevant to dental infection prevention and control published by CDC since 2003 including:
- Infection prevention program administrative measures,
- Infection prevention education and training,
- Respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette,
- Updated safe injection practices, and
- Administrative measures for instrument processing.
The CDC has numerous tools to help any dental staff stay up-to-speed on the latest infection control practices.
Here’s a great place to start: CDC offers two education courses for healthcare providers on hand hygiene