You’ve experienced several changes to life as you’ve known it as the country deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. As you try to get used to one-way aisles and wearing face masks, you might not notice another subtle change right away. You won’t be seeing your dentist or dental team wearing their scrubs outside of the office anymore. It’s not a new fashion trend. It has become a common practice for dental professionals to leave their scrubs at work to prevent cross-contamination and keep you and your loved ones healthy.
Dental Scrubs and Cross-Contamination
The National Institutes of Health recently performed a study to evaluate the frequent contamination of scrubs and patient safety. It was conducted to show how dangerous pathogens can be spread from patient-to-patient via clothing.
The short study examined the bacterial contamination of scrubs from healthcare workers. Those who participated were given 1 set of 4 new scrubs. Each scrub was randomly sampled 8 times after being worn for at least 4 hours into a shift. Several samples were taken from multiple locations, like the thighs, sleeves, and abdomen.
In total, 720 scrub samples were tested. The results found at least 30% of the clothing was contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. This is quite alarming since the average healthcare worker interacts with an average of 2-5 patients per day, and many wear their scrubs while going to lunch or running errands, encountering even more people. This means the potential of cross-contamination is significant.
To combat cross-contamination, your dentist as implemented new safety protocols, which include leaving work clothes at work. As a result, you’ll no longer see your dental team wearing scrubs outside of the office.
More Than Just a Change of Clothes
As we learn more about COVID-19, the CDC, OSHA, and the ADA have made several recommendations to keep the public healthy. If you need to visit your dentist, you can rest assured your dental team will be wearing newly cleaned scrubs each day. They are also taking additional precautions to keep you safe, like performing daily health checks and wearing more personal protective equipment. They are also keeping long hair pulled back and leaving their jewelry at home.
A New Standard of Care
Your dentist has your safety in mind, which is why they’ve implemented several new protocols on top of those mentioned above. With a proactive approach, we can all combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
About Dr. Ryan Thomas
Dr. Ryan Thomas has over 15 years of experience in the dental field. Since earning his dental degree, he regularly continues his training to provide modern services catering to his patients’ needs. Dr. Thomas and his team have undergone advanced training in safety to prevent COVID-19. If you have any questions about our safety protocols, or you’d like to schedule an appointment, contact our office today to speak with a member of our team.