Maintaining the Environment

Last Updated: 13 March 2020
 
Patients who have confirmed COVID-19 or who are at an increased risk of having COVID -19 should not be treated in an office-based dental setting.
 
The major pathway for transmission of viruses such as the influenza virus, SARS or COVID -19 is via aerosolised particles and via droplets that can contaminate surfaces. If an infected person coughs or sneezes this will contaminate surfaces and coronaviruses can commonly live on these surfaces for several days. A person touching the surface could contaminate themselves and possibly contract the virus.
 
Promoting and practising respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette is essential in community-based prevention of virus transmission. Observing high standards of surface hygiene, even in the public areas of a dental practice are also important, particularly where droplet contamination could occur.
 
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Excerpt from NH&MRC Guidelines, page 90
 

Compliant surface decontamination is required to ensure safe practice. The NH&MRC guidelines 2019 outline a risk and evidence-based approach to minimise the risk of transmission of infectious agents.

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​Excerpt from NH&MRC Guidelines, page 55

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Virus loads in oral fluids are high and the aerosols operative dental practice generate require surface decontamination (cleaning and disinfecting) and stringent hand hygiene, (appropriate use of masks is covered here). These interventions are essential to stop virus transmission in an office-based setting.  ADA will provide an office-based hand hygiene audit tool to help ensure compliance.
 
In this context, it is a critical concern that only TGA registered infection prevention products are used (thus products are accepted to be fully and independently validated, particularly with respect to disinfecting claims).
 
Suppliers of Infection Control technologies can immediately confirm the TGA registered status of the products being sold. In the case of liquid products such as Antibacterial Hand Hygiene Gels or Antibacterial Soaps (these products as technically regarded as Medicines), there will be a TGA registration number on the product label. Similarly, for disinfectants (these are regarded as Medical Devices), there should be a TGA registration number on the label where a Virucidal Claim is made, or an individual virus claim is made on the product label.
 
Cleaning products may not be registered with the TGA unless they are intended to be used on other medical devices, in which case even the cleaning products can have a TGA registration number on the product label.
 
Dental Practitioners who are in doubt of their product registration status should contact the supplier, or manufacturer, or in default enquire with the TGA.

If you require any further information, please call your local Branch of the ADA or [email protected]

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