Oral Surgery Infection Prevention and Control

oral surgery infection control North TXOral surgery infection prevention and control is comprised of two main components – precautions taken in preparation of and during surgery and those prescribed post-surgery.  You may be assured that Texas Oral Surgery Group takes infection prevention and infection control very seriously.

Patient safety is our team’s highest priority and that means adhering to stringent infection control procedures and complying with all regulations put forth by the state of Texas and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

These include:

  • Thorough hand scrubbing with antimicrobial soap for the recommended time.
  • All dental staff involved in patient care scrub their hands before each patient with a fast-acting, antimicrobial agent that has a broad spectrum of activity and a persistent effect.
  • Use of appropriate personal protective equipment such as gloves, masks, and eyewear by all team members involved.
  • New PPE (personal protective equipment) is used for each patient.
  • Sterile surgeon’s gloves are used to minimize transmission of microorganisms from the hands of surgical personnel to patients and prevent contamination of the hands of surgical personnel from a patient’s blood and body fluids.
  • Before a patient enters the exam room all surfaces, including the dental chair, instrument tray, dental light, drawer handles, and countertops, are cleaned and decontaminated according to all current CDC guidelines.
  • Patients are asked to rinse with an antimicrobial solution prior to surgery.
  • Disposable items, such as needles or gauze, are placed in special biohazard bags or containers, noted for biohazard disposal and disposed of according to biohazard protocol as established by our hazardous waste disposal company.
  • Non-disposable dental instruments are washed, ultrasonically cleaned, sterile bagged and then steam sterilized between patients.
  • Our sterilizers are checked weekly with a biologic spore check system provided by a 3rd party that assures the autoclaves are working as designed.
  • Use of sterile irrigating solutions and devices designed for delivering sterile irrigating fluids, such as a sterile bulb syringe, sterile single-use disposable products, or sterilizable tubing. We utilize only sterile irrigation solutions (never tapwater) and the delivery system is a sterile single use device or sterilizable tubing.

Patients’ compliance with post-surgery directives is just as essential to preventing infection as the precautions taken by Texas Oral Surgery Group. Successful recovery is closely linked to adherence of post-operative instructions, and while patients leave our care with personalized instructions, we’ve included a few common guidelines below:

Use Gauze to Manage Bleeding – Depending on the type of procedure, it’s not uncommon for patients to experience some bleeding after leaving our office. The best way to manage this is by keeping your head elevated, placing damp gauze over the incision site and lightly biting down for 30-60 minutes. If bleeding remains an issue, please reach out to us.

Take Antibiotics if Prescribed – It’s critical that patients take any prescribed medication as instructed by Drs. Stewart or Michael  before and/or after their procedure. Oral surgery increases the risk of local or systemic infection because microorganisms from inside or outside a patient’s mouth can enter their circulatory system through the oral cavity. However, proper use of antibiotics prevents bacteria from causing an infection.

Most people are able to safely undergo oral surgical procedures without the need for antibiotics. There are however, occasions when antibiotics may be prescribed either prior to, or after surgery.  In these cases compliance with the prescribed instructions is necessary.

It is important to note that patients who stop using antibiotics prematurely (i.e., those who do not finish the prescribed quantity) increase their risk of a post-operative infection.

Do Not Smoke or Use Tobacco Products – Smoking can interfere with the body’s immune system and  natural healing process which can lead to postoperative complications such as delayed healing, infection, or  and lead to dry socket. Dry Socket is a condition which occurs when the blood clot at the site of a tooth extraction fails to develop or dislodges before the wound fully heals. Additionally, use of any chewing tobacco products before your surgical wound is completely healed may cause painful complications as the substance is likely to stick to the wound site. and delay wound healing

Don’t Forget to Rest – In an effort to minimize disruption in their lives, some patients neglect to allot enough recovery time. Unfortunately, this will only prolong recovery. Depending on the procedure, you may be able to resume your normal routine after 48-hours, but it’s important to listen to your body.

Remember, some bleeding, swelling and pain are to be expected after dental surgery. The extent depends on the individual patient and the type of procedure, but if these symptoms persist please contact one of our locations (Denton, Plano, Decatur, Gainesville) if you would like to hear more about oral surgery infection prevention. Drs. Stewart and Michael and the entire team at Texas Oral Surgery Group is committed to delivering quality patient care and are happy to answer any your questions.

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