As of August 20th, 2011, dental offices in California have new regulations to follow for infection control.
The complete regulations are available to members from the California Dental Association (CDA) and there have been a number of changes.
Some of the more significant changes involve sterilization and disinfection of dental instruments.
For example, there are many specific requirements for sterilization and disinfection of various instruments used in the lab which come into contact with intra-oral appliances.
A number of changes to hand hygiene have been made as well. Further clarification of the frequency of hand washing is spelled out, and heavy duty puncture-resistant utility gloves are required for processing and cleaning of instruments prior to sterilization. Many dental health workers prefer the more comfortable and readily accessible dental exam gloves for these tasks as they aren’t as bulky and generally fit better. However, regular dental exam gloves can not be used for instrument processing according to the new regulations of the CDA.
The changes in hand washing protocol make it more important than ever for dental health workers to take care of their hands to avoid drying and chapping. American Dental Accessories pH Natural® 5.5 dental exam gloves can help avoid drying and chapping associated with frequent hand washing.
Another addition to sterilization is the requirement that packages be marked with the date of sterilization. Date marking is also required for non-critical items that are disinfected with the date of disinfection.
For more information, California dentists should contact the CDA.