By Andrea Cook
There has been talk for some time regarding an update to the Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings, 2003. The CDC will not be releasing new guidelines for infection control in dental settings. However, in March 2016, the CDC released their update; a document entitled "Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Settings: Basic Expectations for Safe Care and Companion Checklist." The entire document is available online at www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/infectioncontrol/guidelines.
This published document summarizes the existing recommendations to make them much easier to understand and use in all dental settings, including our orthodontic practices. The summary, intended to supplement the existing CDC recommendations and not replace them, focuses on standard precautions and the foundation for preventing transmission of infectious agents during patient care.
Below is a list of recommendations published by CDC since 2003 that all offices must incorporate into their practices:
Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette
Infection Prevention Education and Training
Sterilization and Disinfection of Patient-Care Items and Devices
A checklist is available to evaluate your office and staff compliance with administrative and clinical practice infection prevention recommendations at https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/infectioncontrol/guidelines/. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance with evaluating your compliance, training, or implementation of changes to your sterilization system.