Dentists and hygiene

Posted by Dental News Team On March - 4 - 2010

Today the dentist’s team tells all!

In answer to our article (24th february) we would like to publish an email, which reached us yesterday…

Have you ever found yourself sitting in the chair at the dentist and asking yourself who had those instruments in their mouth before you? Have they been properly disinfected and sterilized?

That’s right: you just don’t know.

I know, because I’ve been working as a dental assistant and prophylaxis assistant for several years.
Recently, I have been reading reports on this topic at dentalnews etc. and decided to share my experiences.
Unfortunately, things are not as rosy as many websites claim! There are basically three different types of dentists’ :

  • Those that no nothing about hygienic guidelines, and do not practice them, and of course the patient, not knowing how it’s done either, has no idea.
  • Those that observe some minimum of hygienic standards, which means a fifty-fifty chance of getting an infection.
  • And finally those who do everything right and observe the latest hygienic guidelines, by sticking to the ‘walk of hygiene’ in the office!
    Unfortunately this only applies to a small percentage of offices, and I myself have seen doctors drop root canal instruments on the floor, pick them up and continue working with them (even though they are supposed to be completely sterile)!

In some offices the saliva drain is used all day, even if patients are HIV-positive, or have Hepatitis B or periodontitis etc.

But as a patient, how can you be sure that the instruments you are being treated with are sterile? Simply ask your dentist point-blank whether s/he has a thermo-disinfector, steriliser etc., and keep a close watch on how the dentist works, where s/he keeps the instruments before using them, whether the surgical instruments are wrapped in sterile packaging or kept in sterile containers!

Do some research on the Internet, and watch some of the videos on hygiene at!

The dentalnews team would like to express its thanks for this e-Mail!

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Hygiene at the dentist’s office

Posted by Dental News Team On February - 24 - 2010

When you’re at a dentist’s office, don’t get fooled by fancy architecture!

It’s the little things that count – but what exactly are they?

Well, we’re not talking about general hygienic guidelines, such as clean facilities! This is a matter of course. The points listed below should help you in rating the quality of a dentist’s office:

  • Does you dentist use disposable products, or e.g. old cotton towels for operations?
  • Do the operating instruments come in sterile packaging, maybe even an operation container?
  • Are the instruments used to perform root canal treatment loosely kept in a drawer or are they also wrapped  in sterile packaging?
  • Look at the saliva drain, you may not believe this, but some dentist do not bother replacing them!
  • Does your dentist use a Type B autoclave (sterilisation device)?
  • Are mirrors, probes and pincers simply lying around on a tray, or do they have their own container?
  • Does your dentist use gloves?
  • Watch out for things such as surface cleaners, disposable tissues and sanitary wipes

Even minor things like this can help you figure out whether this is an office you can trust, so do not hesitate to ask dentists about their office hygiene. Dentists who stick to guidelines will be glad to explain them or even show you how they work in practice.

More on sterility and hygiene!

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Good hygiene in a doctor’s office prevents resistance to antibiotics

Posted by Dental News Team On February - 19 - 2010

Dentists are in a unique position to help cut down on antibiotics use, both when prescribing medication and by improved hygienic conditions in their offices!

We already wrote about antibiotics and developing a resistance. But what can a dentist do to help?

One place to start is the use of instruments. Instruments are often unsterile and simply put into a drawer.

This method of storage is not sterile. As soon as an instrument is touched, or comes into contact with furniture, e.g. the drawer, it is no longer sterile! The instruments are immediately covered by bacteria, and using them to perform an operation raises the risk of infection – preventable even without antibiotics.

One other very simple way to keep the risk of infection low is using a coffer dam and disposable covers.

Just a little more responsible thinking and action on the part of our generation can ensure that future generations will enjoy the benefits of the medicines and pharmaceuticals we use today.  But who will take the first step? How about you, by paying attention to how a dentist’s instruments are stored and prepared. Ideally, your dentist should use operation containers, which are sealed as soon as they leave the steriliser, or shrink-wrapped instruments!

Think about it… we wish you a nice weekend!

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Swine flu – Tamiflu and medical hygiene

Posted by Dental News Team On January - 19 - 2010

Antibiotics, Tamiflu and medical hygiene

Did you know that between 250 and 300 tons of antibiotics are prescribed in Germany every year?
Austria exhibits similar statistics, proportional to its size. A very large share is prescribed by accredited doctors, „just to be on the safe side“.

Today we would like to talk about why this enormous consumption of antibiotics poses a problem and why patients should pay attention to proper hygienic conditions at the doctor’s office…

Antibiotics are one of the wonders of modern medicine!

We would even go so far as to say that no other type of medication helps to heal so many illnesses and brings people back from the brink of death.
Alexander Fleming (1881-1955) is famous for discovering penicillin and thus, antibiotics, even though at first he barely knew what a powerful natural tool he had in his hands. Penicillin and all other modern antibiotics fight bacteria and one-celled organisms – but they are absolutely useless against viruses.

Penicillin is a by-product of a mold, and the actual challenge after its discovery was trying to produce it in sufficient quantities. In the beginning it was even common practice to collect the urine of patients treated using penicillin in order to re-extract the valuable substabce.

As medicine progressed, ever more valuable antibiotics were discovered and extracted from plants and molds. But why is a high intake of antibiotics bad for patients? The answer is what is known as „developing a resistance“. – Read more about this topic tomorrow!

And until then, watch this!

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Dental hygiene

Posted by Dental News Team On October - 23 - 2009

I have already had a check-up by a dentist, do I still need to get my teeth professionally cleaned?

Yes, you should still get your teeth cleaned!

zahnreinigungTwo pairs of eyes are better than one, and it is easier to recognize defects in a clean set of teeth than in teeth covered in plaque.

How much does it cost to get my teeth professionally cleaned?

The costs can range from 40€ to 120€.

This not only involves removing plaque, each tooth is examined individually and varnished – which prevents plaque build-up.

An oral hygienist or prophylactics assistant takes a very good look at your teeth, and sees even more than a dentist, all the more when teeth are thickly covered in plaque.

Check-ups twice a year and professional cleaning – also known as oral hygiene sessions – ensure the health of your teeth!

Do you want to find out more about this topic?

Visit a dental forum!

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