It’s Better to have GLOVED and FLOSSED…

There is a slight modification to old saying, “It’s better to have LOVED and LOST than to have never LOVED at all!” Truly, this speaks of those things of the HEART. But, the saying of it ‘being better to have GLOVED and FLOSSED than to never have GLOVED at all’ should speak volumes to you as well…I want to talk about INFECTION CONTROL!

‘Infection Control’ is simply that, controlling the spread of infection. You know what your parents (hopefully) always said, “Wash you hands-you don’t know where you hands have been!” Well, being a dentist, I kinda know ‘where my hands have been’, or should I say ‘who’ they’ve been in! Whoa! But imagine IF I didn’t wash my hands between patients! Frankly, I don’t WANT to imagine that.

It was not too long ago when dentists and doctors practiced without forms of barrier protection, i.e. gloves/masks/gowns. I remember in dental school we had slide shows of various clinical scenarios and lessons, and none of the dentists had gloves on!!! Imagine dental cleanings, fillings, crowns, dentures, or even extractions without gloves! Times have certainly changed for the better.

In the clinical areas of ours and other dental offices, you’ll see everything covered with plastic, anything that the dentist/hygienist/assistant touches after they’ve been in the patients mouth. We wear gloves, gowns, and masks as well. Everything plastic is disposable, ‘single-use’ items, like the suction tips, cotton materials, patient napkins, and cups. Nobody wants to talk about this, but please know that the needles are ONE USE ONLY as well. And in case you were wondering about our ‘instruments’ that we use, each set is sterilized in our autoclaves, to further insure that there is no cross-contamination between patients.

I’ve been told before (at least once a day) that ‘going to the dentist is scary’. Well, if that is true, then you need not be afraid of cross-contamination. I felt that it is important to explain to you all that we take YOUR health seriously, not just your dental health. I just thought I’d explain about why we use these means of barrier protection and sterilization in case anyone was wondering. I hope it helped.

Well, for now, KEEP SMILING!!!!

Dr. Joyce

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