| Infection control is of prime importance in this practice. It is essential to the safety of patients, families and staff. Every member of staff receives regular training in all aspects of infection control, including decontamination of dental instruments and equipment, and policy is adhered to at all times.
The Practice follows the Dental Clinical Guidance for the Decontamination and Sterilisation of Dental instruments produced by the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (Click for link to SDCEP)
| All clinical staff are immunised against hepatitis B and a record of their hepatitis B seroconversion held by the practice.
The practice provides protective clothing, gloves, eyewear and masks that is worn by all clinical staff during all operative procedures. Protective clothing worn in the surgery is not worn outside the practice premises.Before donning gloves, hands are decontaminated. Any glove that becomes damaged is replaced and a new pair of gloves is used for each patient. Between glove changes and if not contaminated, hands can be decontaminated using an alcohol hand rub.
Before sterilisation, re-usable instruments are cleaned by placing in a washer-disinfector. The instruments are inspected under magnification for residual debris, which if present is removed by hand and the instrument re-cleaned. The instruments are then sterilised using an autoclave. Appropriate gloves and eye protection is worn when handling and cleaning used instruments. All instruments that have been potentially contaminated are cleaned and sterilised. Single-use items are discarded, never decontaminated nor reused.
Sterilised instruments are stored in covered trays / pouches.
Working areas that have instruments placed on them during treatment are kept to a minimum, clearly identified and, after each patient, cleaned using disinfectant wipes.
Needles are disposed of by the operator. Needles, scalpel blades, local anaesthetic cartridges, burs, matrix bands etc are disposed of in the yellow sharps container, which is near the point of use and not placed on the floor. The container is never more than two-thirds full.
All clinical waste is segregated according to the practice healthcare waste policy and placed in the appropriate sacks or bins provided in each surgery. The sack is securely fastened when three quarters full, correctly labelled and stored in the designated area.
All dental impressions are rinsed until visibly clean and disinfected using the disinfection solution (as recommended by the manufacturer) and labelled as ‘disinfected’ before being sent to the laboratory. Technical work being returned to or received from the laboratory is also disinfected and labelled.
In the event of an inoculation injury, the wound is allowed to bleed, washed thoroughly under running water and covered with a waterproof dressing. The incident is immediately discussed with one of the dentists to assess whether further action is needed. Advice on post-exposure prophylaxis can be obtained from Occupational Health at the Southern General Hospital or Victoria Infirmary. The incident is recorded in the accident book.
Any spillages involving blood or saliva or mercury will be reported to the Senior Dental Nurse and dealt with promptly.
Anyone developing a reaction to protective gloves or a chemical must inform Mr Andrew Paterson immediately for immediate action.