Taking proper care of your equipment and performing regular maintenance is essential for all types of activities, but it is even more essential in the dental and medical sector to ensure the safety and hygiene of operators and patients.
As previously pointed out when discussing the Covid-19 pandemic, “a significant part of patient and staff safety depends on the cleanliness and sanitation of chairs and stools.”
Of course, the above is not only relevant to preventing the spread of this specific virus, but also to prevent the spread of other viruses such as those responsible for the common seasonal flu and is also strategic in preventing the formation of fungi and bacteria.
Before delving into the above with practical tips on disinfecting and sanitizing dental and medical chairs and stools, it may be strategic to give a brief overview of the general procedures recommended for the maintenance of other equipment in dental and medical practices.
Dental unit and equipment: procedures for hygiene and safety
As well as chairs and stools, care must also be taken concerning cleanliness and hygiene for all other elements in the dental office, and any instruments associated with the practice.
The operator/assistant console, instrument shelves, handpieces, basin, lamp, suction cannulas, dental unit/furniture/X-ray unit surfaces, etc., must be covered, where possible, with disposable protection that will be replaced on a daily basis and treated daily, both between one patient and the other and at the end of the day, with suitable products that guarantee cleaning, disinfection and sanitization.
Reverse osmosis systems, UV lamps that treat the water entering the dental unit, and broad-spectrum disinfectants for the water circuit are just some of the many solutions available on the market designed to delay/prevent the formation of biofilm inside the dental unit, thus significantly combating bacteria, fungi and, in some cases, even HIV, HBV, and HCV.
If the dental practice is closed temporarily or if the dental unit is not used for long periods, the suction ducts must be adequately flushed before resuming operations to prevent the formation of Legionella pneumophila.
The need to clean furniture handles, and the inside of windows should also not be underestimated.
Lastly, for all the items that are to be sterilized in an autoclave, it is essential to proceed with this activity in the correct manner and time.
After each treatment, between one patient and another, it is also necessary to ensure that the room is properly ventilated and – if present – to periodically clean the filters of air conditioning or heating systems using fan coils.
As a general rule, whenever possible, it is advisable to use cleaning, sanitizing, or disinfecting products recommended by the manufacturers and the operators carrying out the cleaning and sanitizing operations must be equipped with the required Personal protective equipment (PPE).
Finally, about Covid-19 specifically, government guidelines state that “SARS and MERS coronaviruses are effectively inactivated by appropriate sanitization procedures that include the use of common hospital disinfectants, such as sodium hypochlorite (0.1% -0.5%), ethanol (62-71%) or hydrogen peroxide (0.5%), for an appropriate contact time.
Therefore, it is advisable to check with the manufacturers on the compatibility of these areas with the surfaces to be treated.
Tips for proper cleaning and sanitizing of dental and medical chairs and stools
To ensure that dental chairs and stools remain in excellent condition over time, it is vital to undertake timely and meticulous product maintenance.
The use of disinfectants or alcohol-based detergents is strongly discouraged, as they can lead to the stiffening of plastic materials and, consequently, damage to plastic/polyurethane surfaces and upholstery. It is also advisable to use a soft cloth, to avoid cracking the surface and to ensure that the elasticity and softness of the fabric are preserved.
In the case of Tecnodent chairs and stools, we recommend cleaning the upholstery exclusively with the detergent supplied with the chair. If you require further supplies of our dedicated detergent, do not hesitate to contact your trusted representative.
Polyurethane or metal parts (painted or not) must be cleaned with a soft cloth soaked in soapy water or Tecnodent detergent.
Apart from good product maintenance practices, what makes the difference in terms of hygiene and safety is definitely the design: Tecnodent is extremely aware and foresighted on this front so that it has designed products with rounded lines for optimal cleaning, seamless upholstery made from materials with antifungal and antimicrobial properties, for maximum hygiene. Last but not least, hands-free devices also allow chairs and stools to be controlled and moved “hands-free”.
If you have any questions or would like to delve into these issues, please do not hesitate to contact us!