Bio-Hazard and Biomedical Materials Handling

Categories: Health & Safety

Young dentist giving a treatment to her patient Our patients may have noticed the bio-hazard or biomedical waste symbol during visits to the office. It may be scary or intimidating at first, but you’ll see why we’re actually proud of it!  It is a badge that represents our commitment to your continued good health, the health of our staff, and the protection of our environment. The U.S. government, EPA, OSHA and other agencies are also very protective of consumers and materials handling & workplace procedures, and we’re all working together to keep our office and our environment safe and clean.

Taken at face value, the symbol designates medical materials that require special handling and disposal according to strict government guidelines. In our office, it goes far, far beyond that simple definition of “biomedical waste”. It represents our ongoing efforts to provide dental care that allows you to leave your appointment healthier than when you arrived.

We accomplish this at Sherman Oaks Dentistry in three ways:

1. WE INVEST in the necessary equipment and technology to carry out a systematic infection control program.

2. WE TRAIN our entire staff actively in infection control and materials handling control procedures.

3. WE MAKE TIME before and after EACH patient visit to carry out necessary equipment sterilization and treatment room preparation.

Dr. Perlaza has invested heavily in sterilizing units, dental hand pieces, and new equipment, and maintains equipment and procedures to the highest standards. We aim for perfection and strive to exceed and rise above any regulations. WE can proudly tell you that every item you encounter during your dental visit has been steam sterilized in an autoclave using hospital techniques, or is disposed of after its use.

Autoclaving is the only means of assuring that germs are not passed from one appointment to the next. Disinfectants and so called “cold sterilizers” are not adequate for the cleaning of instruments used in direct contact with patients, or even used relative to their care.

We have always been dedicated to cleanliness as well as quality, but standards o dental care are ever changing. To stay abreast of these changes, we attend local, state, and national education meetings.

Plus, we conduct training sessions during our weekly staff meetings using instructional materials produced by the American Dental Association (ADA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

You can be assured that any visit to our office will only promote your good health and safety!

Equipment, knowledge and technology are simply wasted when adequate time and care are not given to carry out measures that assure everyone’s good health. These measures begin the moment you arrive when you review your confidential medical history. Safety procedures continue as you enter the treatment rooms, and in many cases appointment times have been doubled in length so that operators can be properly prepared for your visit. Plus….

1. Many surfaces are covered with protective plastic wrappings.

2. Instruments are constantly heat sterilized.

3. Only the proper amount of dental materials and equipment are used in the operatory to accomplish your scheduled dental care, and…

4. Your dental team will be wearing gloves, masks, and eyewear for your benefit and theirs.

These critical health and safety measures continue after you leave our office. Heat sterlization equipment is also autoclaved. Disposable items are discarded in the appropriate receptacles labeled with the biomedical materials label, and chairs, stools, and countertops are disinfected. If impressions were taken, they are disinfected before further work is started. Records are kept to monitor sterilization procedures and equipment maintenance.

Crowns (caps), inlays and dentures that are made at a a commercial laboratory for you are mailed to medical businesses that also follow strict infection control procedures certified by the Dental Laboratory Infection Control Council. These procedures limit cross-contamination of dental cases if something were to happen (at another practice).

Biohazard-SignYou may say that all sounds pretty costly – well it is and it isn’t: It is clear that technology, tringin, and time add significant expense to delivering quality dental care. But can one put a price on assuring your good health? We think not.

We believe you will agree that these health-promoting practices are well worth your welfare, and that of your family and friends, and your favorite dental team here at Sherman Oaks Dentistry.

Remember, when you see a biomedical label, see it as a sign of the commitment we each make toward improving everyone’s well-being.

“Don’t hesitate to contact us about any concerns you may have about your next visit! my staff and I are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about infection control and other dental or safety procedures.”

— Dr. Harold Perlaza, Sherman Oaks Dentistry – Where Smiles Change Every Day™

P.S. Please be sure to have your friends or family mention your name so that we can personally thank you for introducing them to us and our practice. We’re happy to help any family members or friends to continue their path towards healthy teeth & gums.