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Have you performed safety checks in the dental office lately?

October 15, 2012

By Karen Fox, ADA News staff

The ADA is taking the opportunity this fall to remind dentists and staff members to perform routine safety checks in their offices.

Dr. Edwards

It’s part of the Safety Awareness Campaign that began earlier this year with the goal of encouraging members to regularly inspect equipment and supplies in the dental office. The ADA is timing safety reminders when daylight savings time changes the clock in the spring and fall.

“This is an initiative aimed at maintaining the safety of dental equipment and supplies throughout the year for the good of office staff and patients,” said Dr. Michael Edwards, a member of the ADA Council on Dental Education and Licensure who chaired the former Ad Hoc Committee on a Safety Awareness Campaign.

With the assistance of the councils on Communications, Dental Practice, Membership and Scientific Affairs, the ADA developed a safety checklist for dental teams which includes guidance on how to safety check nitrous oxide equipment, X-ray equipment, automatic external defibrillators, dental unit waterlines, sterilization equipment, amalgam recovery protocols, and medications in medical emergency and drug kits.

“We as dentists have always been good about monitoring ourselves without having increased regulation,” said Dr. Edwards. “The Safety Awareness Campaign is another way to do that instead of having it become mandated by outside agencies. I think this is a great service that we offer to our members.”

Dr. Edwards has received positive feedback from members who regularly observe safety awareness in their practices. “Whether it’s been implemented as part of the office manual or if the checklist has been laminated and posted in a common area as a reminder to dental teams, the message is getting out.”