Turning your room over to prepare for the next patient can feel somewhat like a pit crew experience. However, this procedure is crucial for the safety of everyone entering the operatory. After dismissing the patient, returning to the operatory must be seen as a field of numerous pathogens waiting to infect anyone in their path. Cleaning and disinfecting should be considered as important as sterilizing instruments and wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Most offices use disposable barriers for surfaces such as light handles, air/water syringes, suction apparatus, headrest/chair, and computer mouse/keyboard. These barriers are simple to remove and replace, but what about all the other contaminated surfaces? When it comes to a surface disinfectant, look for these characteristics.
- Tuberculocidal- not only will this level of disinfectant kill TB, but it will also be effective against a wide range of pathogens such as HIV and HBV.
- Cleaner and Disinfectant- The same product should serve as a cleaner and disinfectant. A surface must be cleaned first, or it can’t be disinfected properly
- Must possess rapid contact (kill) time
- Excellent surface compatibility- must be compatible with multiple surfaces while not discoloring, staining, corroding, or producing other damage
- Must feature low-toxicity and be fragrance-free, and not be likely to cause allergies
- Must not require rinsing or leave a residue. Easy storage and satisfactory shelf-life is also essential
It’s very important to follow the manufacturers directions because failing to do so can cause the active ingredients in the disinfectant to become deactivated. If in doubt, your dental representative can offer suggestions and answer questions.