Dental Assistants need to make sure they fully understand the risk of communicable diseases. A communicable disease is one that is transmitted by saliva, blood, and other bodily fluids. Some communicable diseases such as herpes form sores in the mouth and Dental Assistants need to be able to identify them. Since open sores are the most common way for communicable diseases to enter the body, as a patient you can make sure any such sore is completely covered with a bandage, band aid, or other covering that won’t come off and should disclose any infectious diseases or sores to the Dental Assistant and Dentist.
Dental Assistants are at a very high risk of contracting diseases because their hands come into contact with patients’ mouths all day long exposing them to saliva and often blood. While patients are asked to disclose information about communicable diseases including HIV, many choose not to. A Dental Assistant should assume every patient is contagious and take all precautions against infection.
Dental Assistants should always wear gloves while working with patients, even if they are only observing the procedure. Because you never know when a normal procedure will turn into a crisis, the Dental Assistant will have to be able to jump in and assist at a moment’s notice. There may not be time to stop to put on gloves, and it is not accepted in the dental field to perform any type of procedure without them. If a Dental Assistant feels that there has been a hole poked in a glove they should immediately throw it away and replace it since communicable diseases can make you ill or even result in death.
Another valuable way to prevent communicable diseases is for all dental staff to follow all safety procedures as outlined by the employer. Dental Staff should never take shortcuts, especially in the areas of sterilizing tools and the proper use of tools. This can lead to serious repercussions if other patients become infected with communicable diseases from dirty tools. SeaCliff Dental prides itself on upholding the strictest of safety protocols, cleanliness and sterilization procedures.
Even though Dental Assistants wear gloves during the care of dental patients, they should still always thoroughly wash their hands after each patient because they will have come into direct contact with with saliva, blood, or other bodily fluids that could potentially lead to a communicable disease. Many communicable diseases including the flu and the common cold can’t survive soap and water.
All dental facilities have policies and procedures in place for dealing with contact of saliva, blood, or other bodily fluids. SeaCliff Dental ensures that all staff completely understand these policies and procedures from the first day of employment. All staff go through rigorous training to ensure all policies and procedures are followed completely to ensure safety for you as the patient and the dental staff. Most dental facilities will have the procedures written and in an easily accessible location for quick reference.
Working as a Dental Assistant is a fun and rewarding career choice. Dental Assistants will have the opportunity to work with many people and to learn more about the dental field. They are required to perform a variety of duties as well as sit in on several types of dental procedures. It is important to remember that your safety is a very important part of your dental care. Our Dental Assistants are aware of the risk of communicable diseases and follow all procedures for prevention as well as reporting if such contact does take place during patient care. As a patient of SeaCliff Dental you can rest easy knowing we have your safety and well-being at the forefront of every dental procedure you require.