The short answer is yes. You might even be confused by the question! Let us explain.
Periodic reports about people contracting infections while visiting medical facilities like hospitals or going to the dentist surface in the news from time to time. Almost always, this is due to poor sterilization techniques. On the surface, these reports cause real concern and rightly so! We see this as an opportunity to discuss proper sterilization techniques, which we are proud to say are state of the art at our Orthodontic office. We not only believe that proper sterilization protocol is a critical responsibility but we also train and retrain our team to keep this ever present in our day to day practice and take every possible precaution to ensure your safety:A Step By Step guide to how we sterilize orthodontic tools
How We Protect You. Step By Step
- Tools are cleaned and disinfected in an ultrasonic bath with an enzymatic detergent that work to remove any debris or contamination
- Instruments are then rinsed in a bath of distilled water to remove contaminants and soaps.
- The instruments are then packaged into cassettes which go into another sterilization system which is a steam-pressure autoclave. We frequently check these and confirm that no microorganisms can survive in it.
- These cassettes are then wrapped and are only uncovered when they are ready for use.
Patients can be assured that these instruments are safe in their mouths but that’s not the only measure we take! We regularly have the office disinfected between patients with a high-level surface disinfectant. All surfaces are treated, chairs, counters, sinks and handles are wiped down and disinfected before each new patient is called in.
We also use gloves and masks for each patient, and disinfect hands with hand sanitizer before hand. When you come to visit us for any reason, whether it be an adjustment to your braces, or a new aligner or retainer is being fitted for your use, or whether you are having your teeth scanned with our iTero scanner for an Invisalign case, you can rest assured that all of our instruments are always properly sterilized before use and because we use a cassette system, each tray which contains the instruments is also wrapped in plastic to minimize any accidental exposure to any foreign contaminant.
Is D.I.Y Orthodontics Safe?
Another alarming warning that’s been making the rounds on the internet has to do with DIY Orthodontics. In a word, DIY ORTHO IS NOT SAFE. And we whole heartedly recommend you stay away from any self administered orthodontic treatment of any kind, no matter what you think you read on the internet or saw on youtube!
In 2016 an article surfaced on the Washington post about Amos Dudley. A student who documented his own 3D printing of aligners and administered his own orthodontic treatment. The article went on to warn, a great deal can go wrong doing this, for instance a tooth can be moved too fast causing damage to both the underlying bone and surrounding tissues, or can be moved incorrectly throwing off your bite even further! The hype surrounding DIY orthodontics is also a question of budget and treatment costs. What’s more expensive, fixing a mistake or doing it right the first time?
Doing Digital Orthodontics The Right Way!
First of all, deal with a professional. Orthodontists receive years of additional training to become specialists in our field. We are experts at moving teeth properly and safely! Secondly, with the digital revolution well under way, we suggest you look into what we can offer with iTero 3D scanning and Invisalign. Not only are your results accurate, the entire process of scanning and planning are a far cry better then getting goopy impressions done. Goopy impressions involve having a mould of your teeth taken with the use of a very unpleasant substance called Alginate. While in use for years in the industry, modern Orthodontic offices such as our own, have invested in iTero 3D scanning which greatly enhances the patients comfort! Basically the patient sits in the treatment room and has the inside of their mouth scanned with a special device called a wand.
The device scans your mouth in real time too, and takes only a short while. There is no goop, no unpleasant texture, no gagging! And before you know it, a fully interactive digital map of your teeth is created from which we are able to plan your treatment using Invisalign or braces.