Looking at the importance of dental sanitation in Sioux Falls - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Looking at the importance of dental sanitation in Sioux Falls

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W. Scott Harrington, 64, surrendered his dental license on March 20 after health investigators found sterilization, staffing and other infractions.

The story is sending shockwave's of disgust across the country, and in some cases, adding another element of fear to the thought of going to the dentist.

We found out what medical professionals here think of the allegations and what they want you to know about the seriousness of their office sanitation.

"This is not the standard of care, this is something that is aggregious and its something that is very, very very rare," Dr. Andrew Hille said.

Dr. Hille is with River Ridge Oral Surgical Center.

After more than nine years as an oral surgeon in Sioux Falls, Dr. Hille says virtually all medical professionals strictly adhere to guidelines designed to prevent the spread of any disease.

"The reason why rules and regulations are set up by the health department and OSHA are for the protection of patients as well as the assistants and the surgeons," Dr. Hille said.

Those safety practices start in the patient care room.

"These are the most common needles that we utilize, each one is obviously is individual for each selected patient. Any surgical blade that we use comes individually wrapped not out of a main box.. all the sutures that we use is also individually wrapped and sealed."

Even if supplies or tools aren't used, they will be thrown away or disinfected again.

"We run them under water, brush them up like this and then we stick them in the ultrasonic cleaner."

The instruments are then placed into a dishwasher. After that cycle, they are carefully wrapped into the auto-cleave sterilizer.

"This a sterilization patch, they monitor in here is a biological monitor, once it reacts the came temperature will right the right temp and that's how you know that everything in this is sterile."

It's such an extensive process, Dr. Hille's practice has two employees dedicated to proper sterilization throughout their work day.

"The instruments need to be sterilized in a very, very thorough procedure in order to ensure safety for the next patient."

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) updates those sanitation guidelines every year. It also does random, unscheduled compliance checks at all medical facilities - like the River Ridge Oral Surgical Center - to ensure patients' safety.

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