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How to Clean the Dental Surgery

How to Clean the Dental Surgery


Preventing cross-contamination and ensuring proper sterilisation are critical for Dental Surgeries. Do you know exactly how to clean the Dental Surgery? 

In this article, we will take you through why Dental Surgery cleaning is important, how to clean a Dental room, a Dental practice cleaning checklist and more.


Why Is Dental Surgery Cleaning Important?


Cleaning the Dental practice is a standard precaution and control measure in Dentistry. Viruses and bacteria may be present in the Dental Surgery, especially after performing a patient treatment. Improper cleaning or disinfecting may lead to cross-contamination. Therefore, proper cleaning and disinfecting are vital for patient safety.

At this current time, it’s never been more essential to perform Dental clinic room cleaning to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Coronaviruses can survive on surfaces for hours but can be eliminated through proper disinfection.


What Are the Clean and Contaminated Zones in a Dental Surgery?


When it comes to Dental Surgery cleaning, it’s important to know what the clean and contaminated zones are in a Dental Surgery.

  • Clean zones in the Dental Practice are the properly sterilised and disinfected areas of the surgery. These include sterilised instruments, materials, equipment and medication. 
  • Contaminated zones are the items or areas which are used during patient treatment, or that have come into contact with the treatment zone. The contaminated zone includes areas that may be contaminated by patient fluids such as saliva or blood, the operating field in the surgery and the instrument cleaning area. 


It’s critical that the clean zones are expertly sterilised, and that the contamination is confined to the specific area of the contamination zone.


How to Clean a Dental Surgery – Step 1


Typically, Dental Assistants are responsible for cleaning the Dental Surgery. To begin, Dental Assistants must wear the proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for all Dental Surgery procedures and cleaning. In addition to wearing scrubs, Dental Assistants should:

  1. Wash and dry hands properly and thoroughly 
  2. Apply a mask and protective eyewear
  3. Wash and dry hands again
  4. Apply gloves


Once PPE is established, you can move on to Step 2.


How to Clean a Dental Surgery – Step 2


Next, the Dental Assistant should take the following measures:

  • Throw away all waste into the appropriate waste disposal, being careful of sharps
  • Flush water and air lines for 20-30 seconds between patients.
  • Take all instruments and trays into the sterilisation room 
  • Remove PPE to wash and dry hands, then reapply PPE


How to Clean a Dental Surgery – Step 3


Now, the Dental Surgery area requires cleaning. The Dental Assistant must use disinfectant wipes or disinfectant solution and paper towels.

You should start from the clean zones in the Dental practice and then move on to cleaning the contaminated zones (defined as outlined above). The cleanest zone is likely to be any material bottles or containers if dispensed during treatment (noting that all used materials should be dispensed before treatment to prevent cross-contamination). Then, moving on to Dentist glasses, the bib-chain, X-ray machine, bench tops, Dental Assistant chair, dentist chair, light handle patient chair, patient tray side, suction unit and spittoon area (and any other areas that may be in the Dental room). 


How to Clean a Dental Surgery – Step 4


Once the entire Dental Surgery and implements have been cleaned and disinfected, it’s time to prepare the room for the next patient. PPE should be removed, hands washed, and PPE re-applied. The dental clinic room should be set up with new barriers where required, materials and instruments. 

By following these 4 steps, we are ensuring a safe environment for the patient and the Dental team.



Dental Practice Cleaning Checklist


In addition to the areas outlined in the 4 Steps, there are other areas of the Dental practice that should be addressed: 

  • Maintain a clean and tidy reception or waiting area
  • Disinfect all contact surfaces frequently 
  • Dust daily in all areas of the surgery
  • Keep the bathroom clean and regularly disinfected 
  • Ensure all staff members are aware of Industry Guidelines and are following them 
  • Clean all furniture and fittings
  • Vacuum and mop all flooring


Dental Surgery Cleaning FAQs


How are oral surgery instruments cleaned?

All critical and semi-critical dental instruments must be sterilised after each use. Some dental instruments must be cleaned with an instrument washer or an ultrasonic cleaner. Then, instruments should be rinsed in warm running water. Dry the dental instruments using a drying cabinet or by hand using a lint-free cloth. It’s critical for sterilisation that instruments are properly dried.


How do you clean a dental chair?

To clean a dental chair, remove dirt and dust with a soap and water solution with a clean cloth (dishwashing detergent can also be used). Do not use abrasive materials on your Dental Chair as it may damage the upholstery. To dry, simply use a dry lint-free cloth.


How to clean blood spillage in the Dental Surgery

Spillage of fluids within a Dental Surgery can be inevitable. It’s critical to clean up any patient fluids such as blood properly. Surface spills should be cleaned using a paper towel and wiped with a disinfectant solution and left for 1 hour with the disinfectant, or as long as possible. Then, the area is to be cleaned by following routine cleaning procedures. It’s vital to be wearing PPE during this process.


What do Dental Assistants wear?

Dental Assistants should always be wearing correct PPE including protective clothing and enclosed footwear. In addition, Dental Assistants should wear gloves, mask visors, goggles, gloves and disposable plastic aprons. 


Should I be cleaning the Dental room between patients?

The Dental Surgery must be cleaned in between patients. The following areas must be thoroughly cleaned between each patient and at the end of each session:

  • Work surfaces including trolleys and delivery units
  • Clean and contaminated zones
  • Dental chair
  • Curing lamps
  • Inspection lights and handles ( which should be protected with disposable coverings)
  • Spittoons, bib chains and aspirators
  • X-ray units


Find out exactly what to clean and how to best clean it in the ADA Guide.


Looking for a Rewarding Career in Dental Health? 


If you’re searching for a career in oral health that can help to make a positive impact on your community, submit your expression of interest with Brisbane Smiles. We are #1 for Patient Experience and invest in the professional development of every team member. 

Check out our job listings or submit an expression of interest today!


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