For dentists to properly take care of their patients’ oral health concerns, a wide-ranging set of tools and equipment is needed. Most of what they use are disposable dental instruments — from syringe tips to endodontic files to saliva ejectors. However, it’s a known fact that many dentists have been reusing such instruments (at least once throughout their career) in order to save money, albeit only in the short term. This article aims to shed light on the importance of faithfully using single-use dental instruments.
- It maximizes the effectiveness of the product. Experts agree that disposable dental instruments are most effective when they’re used the way they were designed to be: only once. Any subsequent use will result in a subpar quality of service — which is actually a form of making your clinic’s dental service rate higher than what your patient should be paying.
- It prevents the spread of disease. Another great benefit of sticking to the one-time use of disposable dental instruments is infection control. Especially now that the world is facing a costly public health crisis, all the more that your clinic should take an active part in disease prevention. Studies show that not all sterilization procedures are effective in killing harmful microorganisms in the instruments you are using.
- It reduces the resources spent on sterilizing. Cleaning and sterilizing reusable items consume a significant amount of time and money. Instead of pouring your staff’s effort into cleaning your instruments, you can make their time more valuable by letting them take care of your patients (which translates to income for your clinic, instead of expenses). In the long run, you will perceive your decision to go for disposable instruments as the more cost-effective option.
- It is more environmentally friendly. To make disposable dental tools more appealing, many manufacturers are now committed to making their products more eco-friendly. Besides these intensified efforts, it’s also noteworthy to know that sterilization and decontamination procedures also actually produce large amounts of waste — something you can prevent if you switch to single-use instruments.
Words to Remember
When you’re using single-use dental tools, make sure you comply with the manufacturer’s manual of instructions. To ensure that the instruments are of the highest quality, only procure them from credible suppliers.
After using disposable tools like dental eye shields, your clinic should also follow proper disposable processes. And to prevent obtaining any liabilities, make sure you document the transfer and handling of your dental waste to the disposal company you’ve hired. Like your supplier, the company that manages your clinic’s wastes should also be reputable and duly registered and licensed.