Doing What You Can For Safety in the Dental Practice

safety dental practice

An efficient dental practice team is a safe one. There’s no question that if you can’t or don’t comply with OSHA and state guidelines, your ability to provide appropriate care will be seriously diminished. You can be hit with all manner of problems, from general patient dissatisfaction to lawsuits.

safety dental practiceSafety impacts all aspects of the dental practice – even your relationship with the dental lab. For example, consider the importance of disinfecting impressions before utilizing them while pouring models or sending them directly to the lab.

For an exhaustive list of infection control measures, you can check out resources on OSHA’s website as well as the CDC. But in case you need a quick reminder, here are some quick tips:

Keeping Your Dental Practice Safe: 3 Main Areas

Bloodborne Pathogens/Standard Precautions

The Bloodborne Pathogens Standard provides plenty of direction as to how you, your staff, and your patients can avoid exposure to blood and other bodily fluids. Mainly, you must make sure everyone is properly vaccinated or made aware of the risk they face (in addition to having an exposure protocol in place).

There must also be substantial safeguards to prevent needle sticks or contact with mucous membranes/non-intact skin. Don’t forget: Standard precautions refers to all of the necessary measures you must take to keep everyone in the practice free from harm.


Your staff must understand the appropriate gloves, gowns, and face masks that should be worn during different procedures at the office. As an example, different gloves are often used when cleaning instruments versus when performing a surgical treatment.

Additionally, make sure not to forget eyewear. Eye injuries are very common in dental environments.

Instrument Processing

How efficient and effective are your cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing methods? Take a closer look at the steps your team uses for preparing instruments and minimizing infection.

What OSHA guideline do you think is commonly overlooked? 

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