No doubt, dentists get asked all sorts of interesting questions when their patients are in the chair, but nothing takes the cake quite like this one: “Do you actually clean your dental instruments?”
Hopefully, the question implied is HOW are the instruments sterilized, not ARE they actually cleaned. If someone has a sarcastic dentist, they may get a response like, “I only sterilize for patients that I like,” or “I try to sterilize at least once a week.” But obviously, it’s a fair question for a person to ask because dental safety and hygiene is extremely important. So, despite the temptation to be comedic, sometimes the best response is the professional response.
In that case, patients should know that some dental tools are for single use only and get tossed after one procedure. For the non-disposable items like mouth mirrors, drills, forceps and scalers, special machines called auto claves(steam under pressure) or dry ovens are required for use by the CDC to ensure the utmost standards be met for cleanliness. Thorough sterilization is key for a safe office and the systems put in place are regularly assessed for quality control purposes. Even the items that don’t come in to contact with the mouth (chairs, door handles, trays, faucets) are routinely cleaned with hospital grade disinfectant to prevent the spread of germs.
The safety and health of the patient is extremely important to any dental practice. Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to make your visit a positive one, so you can leave with the smile and dental experience you’ve always dreamed of.