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When you go to the dentist for your appointment, you may be curious to know what the dentist does to maintain a safe and healthy environment for his or her patients. Here is a list of some common practices used by dentists to ensure you maintain good oral health care and stay safe and healthy at the same time.

  1. What practices are used to keep a dental office clean and healthy?

Employees at a dental office are very clear about the importance of cleanliness and take it seriously to prevent the spread of germs before, during and after a procedure. Dental staff not only spray disinfectant in common areas such as the waiting room, but they thoroughly disinfect exam rooms and sterilize dental tools before using them on you.  Some tools are disposable as well to ensure a sterile environment. Dental employees will also wear disposable face masks and gowns when treating patients to protect themselves and you from the spread of germs.

  1. Why do the dental staff and the patient wear protective eyewear?

Most dentists will require that their employees where protective eyewear to prevent the spread of germs from fluids that fly out of your mouth into the air, or from a sneeze or cough.  Often dental offices will provide protective eyewear for the patient too for the same reasons.  Whether you are getting a cleaning or another procedure, the dental tool’s contact with your teeth and gums will result in a splash. Eyewear will help prevent any of these fluids from having contact with your eyes.


  1. Why do dentists use dental dams when examining your mouth?

A dental dam is a thin layer of latex that is spread over a specific area of your mouth that the dentist is examining to help prevent direct contact between things. They will secure the dam with a clamp to hold it in place. The dam is very helpful in isolating a certain tooth that the dentist wants to work on, and helps provide greater visibility for the dentist.  The dentist will poke a small hole in the dental dam and slide the tooth he or she wishes to examine through it to give the dentist the best view of the tooth.

By demystifying some of the common dental practices that you may experience during a visit to your dentist, the patient can be at ease knowing that their dentist always has a good reason for the dental care they provide to their patients. Dr. Ted Melchers and his staff are here to help you decide the best course of treatment for you and your family.  Contact us today at info@oldmtpleasantdentistry.com to see how we can best meet your needs.