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Visiting to dentist? Do they sterilize their tools?





shenyl
I just visited a dentist this week, and her appointments are so packed, that each patient is allocated only 30 minutes. The one before me came out at 8.10pm, and my appointment is 8pm. There is a 10 minutes overrun. In last then 3 minutes, I was called in.

And before entering, I have to fill out a form, asking if I have any diseases and that includes the feared AIDS.

I am sure I am AIDS free, but what about the many that have left earlier than me?

It really gives me the shiver to visit the dentist.

Do they really sterilize all the tools well enough to ensure that AIDS and other diseases are not transmitted from patient to patient?

Let hear your view if you work within a dental clinic.

3 to 5 mins to clean and sterilize all the tools - can this be done safely?

Appreciate your feedback, as I have 2 more appointments with the dental clinic.

With regards.
ftv_flung
If you're not happy with your dentist, ask them if they do and what their routines/checks are for sterilisation. There should be proper regulations and procedures at any dentists and they should be qualified for doing this.

If you're not happy with your current dentist, find another. That's all I can say if you're not happy with them Wink
Bikerman
Well, I can only speak for the UK. Here it is standard practice to ensure all equipment used is sterile. This has been the case for many years and any dentist not operating according to correct procedure would probably be struck-off if it came to light...
Bondings
I wouldn't be too worried about AIDS, unless the same needle is used for an injection which is very unlikely. HIV doesn't survive open in the air for more than a few minutes. This can't be said for other diseases though.

Considering that your dentist is so worried about it that you need to fill in that form, then I guess the equiment will also be sterilized. But the best way, of course, is simply to ask
deanhills
shenyl wrote:
I just visited a dentist this week, and her appointments are so packed, that each patient is allocated only 30 minutes. The one before me came out at 8.10pm, and my appointment is 8pm. There is a 10 minutes overrun. In last then 3 minutes, I was called in.

And before entering, I have to fill out a form, asking if I have any diseases and that includes the feared AIDS.

I am sure I am AIDS free, but what about the many that have left earlier than me?

It really gives me the shiver to visit the dentist.

Do they really sterilize all the tools well enough to ensure that AIDS and other diseases are not transmitted from patient to patient?

Let hear your view if you work within a dental clinic.

3 to 5 mins to clean and sterilize all the tools - can this be done safely?

Appreciate your feedback, as I have 2 more appointments with the dental clinic.

With regards.


As far as I know, Singapore is a country with some of the highest standards in medical practice, so am quite confident that you would be in good hands from the practice of hygiene point of view. I can imagine that dentists manage themselves differently, and possibly you should shop around to find another dentists if you feel this way. You need to be comfortable and ease with the medical practitioner you are dealing with, if not, maybe your instincts are telling you that it is not the right one for you. There are plenty of dentists to be found in Singapore and you may find one that you are more comfortable with. Best way to find a dentist like that is to ask your friends. Referral has always worked the best way for me.
shenyl
Yes, I guess, if the doctor is concerned about AIDS, he/she will most likely to take precautions themselves.

Thanks also for the high commend on Singapore Health practices, the issue is really the short duration between patients.

Will they have enough time to sterilize the equipments in just 3 minutes?

Overall, I feel better now to meet my dentist in the coming appointments.

Thanks to all.
Magicman
I'm pretty sure that at least my dentist has multiple sets of tools that are sealed in a package after they are sterilized. The package is opened in front of the patient to insure that the equipment is very unlikely to become contaminated. I'm sure your dentist takes necessary precautions to make sure all the equipment used is sterile.
shenyl
Yah, thanks for showing that there are dentists, that know how to comfort their very concerned patients.

I do wish to be able to see evidence of it, but one dentist that I visited many years ago, told me that if I want to be sure, buy your own set of tools, and they will keep it for me.

Sound very reasonable (to the dentist), but wah, he will need a storeroom full of tools of each patient, and if he changes his setup in his clinic, all will have to buy new tools to work with him.

To me, I decided not to go back to him again.

I too wish to meet dentists that understand concerns of patients.

Thanks for the info, and I am already jealous that my dentist don't do that. Just kidding.
la_Duchess
Well, I sure hope they do!!! I can't imagine them not... Ewww........
shenyl
I was re-assured by my dentist that they have many sets of tools, and after each use, they will be sent to a external party to sterilize them.

I do hope all practices these carefully to aviod harming others.

Thanks, yes, I am less sceptical now concerning their safety procedures.
Wolf1918
Most dentist offices here in the US have their own autoclave, which is an instrument that is used to sterilize dental and surgical tools. (As well as the tools tattoo artists and piercing places) I'm not sure how long tools must be left in an autoclave for sterilization to take place but I can't really imagine a modern dental office (except perhaps in some of the poorer countries) that only has ONE set of tools.

Having only one set of tools would also slow the dentist's work down because he would at least have to wait for his tools to be cleaned between patients. So it would be more cost effective to have several sets of tools, perhaps even enough sets of tools for the average number of patients seen in a day. Then run everything through the sterilizer over night.

Just a thought,
Chad
muffinman187
my biggest fear with going to the dentist is AIDS!! crazy. i heard crazy story
malcolmpreen
I am confused why you need to ask this question.... if there is ANY doubt - change dentists.

Maybe I am lucky to live in the UK, where any dentist failing to meet hygiene standards would be struck off...

Malcolm
shenyl
Yes, we do have such enforcement.

We also have law enforcements time and again of laywers who run away with clients' money, yet after each new enforcement put in place, we will hear another laywer doing just that.

Singapore is a "FINE" city - full of fine, but does not mean people are law abiding, even our own politicians do flog the laws, and few have to quietly leave.

So I do not always belief in law enforcement, especially on issues of convenient.
It is easier to say we do it, than really do it - I hope "malcolmpreen" can understand that.

Thanks for the re-assuring words on UK standards.

But I am already better now to trust them.

With regards.
kitsrock
Quote:
Most dentist offices here in the US have their own autoclave, which is an instrument that is used to sterilize dental and surgical tools. (As well as the tools tattoo artists and piercing places) I'm not sure how long tools must be left in an autoclave for sterilization to take place but I can't really imagine a modern dental office (except perhaps in some of the poorer countries) that only has ONE set of tools.

Having only one set of tools would also slow the dentist's work down because he would at least have to wait for his tools to be cleaned between patients. So it would be more cost effective to have several sets of tools, perhaps even enough sets of tools for the average number of patients seen in a day. Then run everything through the sterilizer over night.


autoclave uses high pressure steam above normal boiling point of water. different offices can have different method of recycling equipments, such as previously mentioned pre-packaged tools for tools that almost always comes in contact with blood such as scalpel, or autoclaving at certain time intervals, as autoclaving takes 15 min on low temperature and 3 on high (18 on high for special circumstances).

unless you've seen less-than-hygienic activities at your dentist's office, you shouldn't worry too much about catching infections via surgical and dental equipments. the chances you becoming infected via unsterilized equipment is far lower than becoming infected via blood transfusions from what I've heard.
RubySlasher
Also, aren't a lot of the tools they use disposable, anyways?
pho3nixsky
Wow i never really thought of that. I have to keep that in mine next time i have a checkup.
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