Everywhere you turn, it seems like you’re surrounded by changes since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some differences are quite noticeable, like one-way aisles in the grocery store and wearing face coverings. Other changes might be more subtle, like not seeing your dentist in scrubs outside of the office anymore. This is more than just a new fashion trend. Instead, it’s now common practice for healthcare workers and dentists to leave their scrubs at work to combat the spread of coronavirus. Here’s how this new dental practice safety can keep you and your loved ones healthy.
Scrubs and Contamination
The National Institutes of Health have highlighted the frequent contamination of healthcare worker scrubs and patient safety. Research shows dangerous pathogens, like COVID-19, can be spread from patient-to-patient via clothing.
A short study evaluated the bacterial contamination of scrubs. Participants were given 1 set of 4 new scrubs. Each scrub was sampled 8 times on random days after at least 4 hours into the participants’ shift. Multiple samples were taken from various locations, like the thighs and abdomen.
720 scrub samples were tested, which found 30% of the clothing was contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. With an average of 2-5 patient interactions per day, the potential of cross-contamination is significant. The risk further increases when a healthcare worker performs specific activities, like addressing wounds.
With the risk of infection, there are new contact precautions for healthcare workers, including dental professionals, to decrease the potential of contamination.
Leaving Scrubs at Work
While there’s still much to learn about COVID-19, the information on-hand allows your dentist to make several changes to their safety protocols to keep their patients and the public healthy. As a result, you may not see your dental team wearing scrubs outside of the office anymore. In fact, they will change into and out of their newly cleaned scrubs each day.
Your dental team has also undergone advanced staff training in awareness and prevention to combat COVID-19. Besides daily health checks and wearing personal protection, you’ll also notice your dental team is keeping their hair pulled back and leaving their jewelry at home.
Although these changes might seem minor, they are significant in reducing cross-contamination inside and outside of the dental office.
Choose a Higher Standard of Care
Don’t be alarmed by the changes around you. While you might not see your dental team wearing their stylish scrubs outside of the office any longer, rest assured, it’s a change implemented with your safety in mind. Together, we can reduce the spread of COVID-19.
About Dr. Troy Jones
Dr. Troy Jones earned his dental degree at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Since 1994, he’s provided comprehensive dental care to the community from his private practice. He remains up to date with the latest protocols in safety, including those recommended by the CDC to prevent COVID-19. If you have any questions about our safety standards, contact our office today to speak with a member of our team.