Why Dentists wear Masks - Ask a Dentist in Spring Texas - Vita Dental Spring
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Why Dentists wear Masks – Ask a Dentist in Spring Texas

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Why Dentists wear Masks – Ask a Dentist in Spring Texas

You might have noticed that every time you visit the dentist, he or she and other members of staff wear a mask. This is especially so when they get to the procedure room. Perhaps you have wondered why they bother to do this. The reason is very simple: dentists like those at Vita Dental use the mask to control the spread of diseases, which exist inside the human mouth. Let us talk a bit more about this issue. 

It is part of the safety protocol

According to the occupational safety and health administration, any dental employee who might encounter blood has to undergo infection control training. That way, he or she is able to understand why a facemask is important. Thus, if your dentist failed to wear the mask, they would actually be breaking the law.

It keeps the practitioner and the staff safe

A dentist is no doubt going to encounter germs and particles in the course of their work. This can be anything from a small cold to a major blood-borne disease. If during the operation, a blood vessel pops and splutters blood all over, the mask will help to keep the dentist safe. In essence, the dentist and the staff are staying safe by limiting the chances of pathogen jumping directly into their mouths. It will also reduce the chances of transferring pathogens from one patient to the next.

The mask keeps you safe

The mask and other sanitation procedures are done with your safety in mind. If the dentist had picked up any germs from a previous patient, it helps to reduce the chances of these germs spreading to you. The reason for this is that dental work usually involves the dentist coming really close to you. The mask will ensure that the doctor can communicate with you without having to pull away from you. Without the mask, there is a very good chance that germs would spread to you.

Other Safety measures the dentist takes

One of the things that every dentist does is to wash their hands. After washing the hands, they will then wear sterile gloves along with the mask. Besides that, he or she will sterilize their equipment.

Besides the equipment, the environment in which he or she works will also be kept sterile. The dentists must sterilize their tools in line with ADA and CDC guidelines. To do this, doctors are required to purchase special machines that keep equipment germ-free. In most cases, a simple wash does not suffice to keep the equipment clean.

Most of the items that are single use such as masks, gloves, and needles are usually thrown away after use. The dentist has to have new equipment for every patient. Any disposable item that encounters blood is usually thrown away in a special receptacle after use. There are also specific ways in which that equipment can be disposed of. Thus, it cannot just be thrown away with the garbage.

Some of the equipment in the dental room cannot be sterilized. To ensure that it is safe, the equipment is usually wiped down and cleaned with special solutions. This wipe down is usually done after every patient leaves the room.

Infection protection is now standardized

As recent as 1986, many dentists would use the same masks or gloves to touch different patients. However, that has all changed. This is in part due to the rising case of incurable diseases. However, it is also due to tougher enforcement by the authorities. Dentists who flaunt these rules risk having their license revoked.

Protective gear has evolved

It is also worth noting that equipment has evolved over the years. For instance, the dentist will have surgical gloves and exam gloves, which are designed differently. It is a strict requirement that the doctor change gloves between each patient.

How you can keep yourself safe

Besides the dentist, there are measures that you can take to ensure you are not contaminated. One way to do this is to observe proper hand hygiene. That means you should scrub your hands well with soap and water and spend at least 15 seconds at the sink doing so. It is not enough to rub your palms together. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer and ensure you cover all areas of your hands.

When you sneeze, ensure that you cover it. This can help to avoid spreading germs to others. If you have a cold or flu, you should request the dentist to reschedule. He or she will also appreciate that since it keeps the office from being germ-infested. If you do not do this, you may be forced to wait in a private room and wear a mask in the common areas.

Summary

When you go to the dentist, you should always have expectations of a clean and safe environment. The mask that he or she wears forms an important part of that. Thus, next time you go to your dentist, do not wonder why his face is covered all the time.