Our safety and sterilisation processes

How we’re working to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Now that we’re back operating almost as normal, Wickham Terrace Dental are operating within the Australian Dental Association’s standard precautions for infection control.

We adhere to a number of stringent protocols for safety and sterilisation processes, including:

Hand hygiene

All our dental staff use alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) between patient appointments and also during interruptions within the one appointment. Our team apply ABHR onto dry hands and rub it on for 15-20 seconds, after which time their hands are dry. We’ve also trained all our staff on this correct way to use ABHR.

Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

One important way to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious agents is to wear personal protective clothing and equipment where aerosols are likely to be generated – such as in some dental procedures.

We provide our dentists and clinical support staff with all appropriate necessary protective clothing and equipment for the procedure they’re carrying out. They’re also trained on the right way to use this PPE gear – such as the need to remove all “barrier protection”, including gloves, mask, eyewear and gown, before they leave the dental surgery.

a chemical indicator to show whether the load has passed. To ensure accuracy and performance, our Lisa autoclaves are validated annually by an external service technician.

This comprehensive process ensures that all our instruments are cleaned, sterilised, and ready to be used safely with all our patients.

Instrument reprocessing

To ensure that potentially contaminated dental instruments do not transmit infections between our patients, it’s essential that instruments are correctly reprocessed between each patient.

Reprocessing refers to the system that is needed to make these contaminated reusable devices ready to be used once again. The steps can include cleaning, functional testing, packaging, labelling, disinfection and sterilisation.

At Wickham Terrace Dental we follow the recommended specific reprocessing requirements for each of the three instrument/risk categories: critical items (such as dental forceps or instruments used for implants) that are used for surgical dental procedures like extractions; semi-critical items (such as mouth mirrors, dental tweezers, probes and the like); and the lowest risk non-critical items (such as protective eyewear, bib chains etc).

The type of instrument and its intended use determine the method of reprocessing and, as a general rule, if an instrument cannot be cleaned it cannot be safely reprocessed.

Instrument cleaning

We’re meticulous about cleaning all our dental instruments. We follow the ADA’s guidelines for infection control with a very thorough process.

We start with a chairside pre-cleaning to remove any tissue or substances after a procedure. It’s an important step, because the presence of organic material on instruments can prevent proper disinfection and sterilisation. In fact this is one of the ADA’s strong recommendations for improving the safety and effectiveness of instrument reprocessing.

The instruments are then mechanically cleaned with our Tethy disinfectant machine, a more efficient way of pre-sterilisation cleaning than either ultrasonic cleaners or manual cleaning. It’s very important that the instruments are dried before sterilisation, and the Tethy’s drying cycle does away with the need for a separate drying step by getting rid of any residual moisture on the instruments.

Once they’re clean, it’s then time for instruments to be sterilised in our “Lisa” autoclave, which we had installed new in June 2019. The Lisa autoclave offers B class sterilisation, which means air is removed from the chamber before steam enters under pressure to completely sterilise our instruments.

We carry out weekly and daily performance tests before using the Lisa autoclaves, and every cycle has a chemical indicator to show whether the load has passed. To ensure accuracy and performance, our Lisa autoclaves are validated annually by an external service technician.

This comprehensive process ensures that all our instruments are cleaned, sterilised, and ready to be used safely with all our patients.

Batch Control Identification (BCI)

For our critical instruments used in surgical procedures we use Batch Control Identification as a further risk reduction measure. BCI links a pack of dental instruments used for a particular patient to a particular sterilising cycle, so that we have verifiable performance data on that sterilisation.

Critical instruments are bagged, and where possible our non-critical instruments are stored in cassettes or bagged. Printed stickers and scanners in every room help us to make tracking even more accurate and faster.

Your safety is our utmost priority

As life slowly begins to return to normal, at Wickham Terrace Dental we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of you our patient, and our staff.

If you’d like to know more about how Wickham Terrace Dental is operating safely, feel free to contact us online or call 3831 3031 today.

Call 3831 3031 or click to book your appointment
 

All treatments now available - make your appointment today!

We're back to just Level 1 restrictions, which means we can provide all dental treatments.

Please contact us for an appointment on 3831 3031 or email
contact@wickhamterracedental.com.au

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