Recent Blog Posts
The Oklahoma Dentist That Endangered His Patients.......
The Oklahoma dentist that endangered his patients by exposing them to Hepatitis and HIV captured national media attention and struck fear into dental patients across the country. Fortunately, incidents like this are few and far between. In fact, the overwhelming majority of dental practices in the United States follow strict sterilization procedures to ensure the safety of their patients. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency that has put together various regulations designed to protect both workers and patients. Additionally, many individual states have added their own regulations over and above the federal requirements as an added level of protection. Examples of such requirements include periodic staff training, regular inspection of sterilizing equipment and weekly spore testing procedures to demonstrate that the sterilization equipment is functioning properly.
OSHA approved disinfection chemicals are a must and so is the proper technique for their use. The sterilization area in every office must also be divided into contaminated and clean zones so that sterile items do not come into contact with contaminated items. Staff members are required to use personal protective equipment when handling contaminated items and there are guidelines as to how and where soiled items such as used needles and bloody gauze must be disposed of. These are just a few examples of what dental offices do to ensure patient safety. Most offices take great care to meet or exceed these guidelines and take pride in maintaining a safe environment for their patients. While it can be quite scary to hear about incidents such as what happened in Oklahoma, you can rest assured that such incidents are the exception to the rule. Our very own Dr. Anita Neel was recently interviewed by Charlottesville Newsplex regarding this very subject. I have linked that interview to this blog to further ease your fears. I will be collaborating with our wonderful doctors and adding periodic blog entries to our website in an effort to keep our patients informed and up to date on the current state of dentistry. Please check back often for new content. Feel free to contact me directly if you have specific questions that you’d like me to address or if you have subject requests for future postings. I look forward to providing you with informative posts relevant to your own specific dental health.
- Adam Schulz