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Posted by: The Probe 12th May 2021
In today’s climate, infection control is one of the most essential aspects to consider in a dental practice. One side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it has put the focus back on infection control, making it clearer than ever that dental professionals need to take an innovative approach in order to ensure patients and staff alike remain as safe as possible.
So what features should you consider when choosing infection control products for your practice?
Thinking beyond the basics
It goes without saying that you should be using infection control solutions that are able to eliminate the vast majority of pathogens. However, there are a number of other aspects to consider, including ease of use, how these products work on different surfaces and how they fit into your cleaning routine.
After all, most cleaning products are now able to destroy the majority of viruses, bacteria and other threats, but if these products are less effective on certain surface types or take a long time to use, this means that they are probably not the best choice for your practice.
The first step is to look at the structure of your practice and the different surface types that exist in all areas. It’s likely you will have metals, plastics, and soft furnishings, but you may also have wood or other materials as well. So, are your cleaning products still effective and safe to use on this variety of surfaces?
The general rule is that hard surfaces such as metals and plastics allow viruses and bacteria to survive and remain infectious for longer.[i] Luckily, these surfaces tend to be easier to clean, too, as they are usually smooth and therefore don’t have small crevices where bacteria and viruses can avoid detection and thrive. Surfaces like wood and soft materials may be less hospitable for viruses but they are more difficult to clean efficiently, and this is something you need to take into consideration when selecting products to clean surfaces.
There’s also the shape and unique architecture of your practice – just because an area is out of reach doesn’t mean that it can’t harbour pathogens and other infectious substances, so when choosing cleaning products you need to think about whether they are able to still reach these places and keep people as safe as possible.
Speed and efficiency
In dentistry, speed is always of the essence. Infection control is no different, and it’s important to consider how easy it is to use the products you select and how fast they can get to work.
For example, some cleaning solutions may take many hours to effectively destroy pathogens. This widens the opportunity for disease transmission even after surfaces have been treated, so it’s more efficient to use products that can completely eliminate pathogens within an hour or less.
You also need to think about ease of use and how the products are deployed – it’s likely that staff are going to use simple, less complicated cleaning products more efficiently as there is less room for errors. There’s also a study that has proven if people believe they are familiar with a product they are far less likely to read the instructions on how to use it properly.[ii] This means that a margin for error exists if people are assuming they are using certain products correctly, which may leave weak spots in your infection control defences.
As such, it’s important to ensure that staff are all trained on how to use cleaning products effectively – this information needs to be reiterated when new products are bought so that everyone is on the same page.
Support your infection control protocols
Even after treating surfaces there are extra measures you can take to ensure that your practice is as protected as possible against disease transmission.
For example, AIRGENE CE Airborne Surface Disinfectant from Eschmann is the perfect addition to your existing infection control protocols and helps ensure that even difficult to clean areas are properly disinfected.
Utilising one-shot technology to disperse high-level disinfectant, AIRGENE CE Airborne Surface Disinfectant forms a cloud in approximately one minute that covers an area of up to 40m3. The disinfectant only takes one hour to achieve a double effect: disinfection of all surfaces and elimination of any odours caused by bacterial decomposition.
Independently tested under EN protocols (including EN 14476) and proven to be 99.99% effective against Coronavirus, AIRGENE CE Airborne Surface Disinfectant is a powerful addition to your usual cleaning routine, meaning no surface goes untreated!
The broader picture
Although infection control is simple on the surface, it pays to think more broadly about the topic and be discerning when it comes to selecting which cleaning products to use. Of course, efficacy of products is the first consideration, but you also need to see how a product will fit into your routines, whether it can be used on multiple surfaces and treat areas that may be missed.
For more information on the highly effective and affordable range of infection control products from Eschmann, please visit www.eschmann.co.uk or call 01903 875787
[i] Mayo clinic. Cold and Flu Viruses: How long Can They Live Outside the Body? Link: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/expert-answers/infectious-disease/faq-20057907 [Last accessed March 21].
[ii] Researchgate. On the Reading of Product Owner’s Manuals: Perceptions and Product Complexity. Link: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265402419_On_the_Reading_of_Product_Owner’s_Manuals_Perceptions_and_Product_Complexity [Last accessed March 21].
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