This week’s TIPisode is with Noel Brandon-Kelsch.
Can you use low volume and high volume at the same time? Can you drape your suction on the light handle? Learn these details and more this week with Noel!
Send in your infection control questions! Noel would love to answer them for you.
Medicom sponsors this episode. Head over to their website and learn more about their products to keep you and your patient protected
Noel Brandon-Kelsch is an international speaker, writer, Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice and Director of Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Program. She is passionate about oral health and has the uncanny ability to motivate and enlighten audiences through her unique humor and cutting edge information. She takes the tough subject matter and presents it in such an exciting way that it becomes thought-provoking even to those not involved in her industry.
Noel is an infection control guru and is going to bring us tips that can make use more informed clinicians!
Check out her webpage noelkelsch.com
For your viewing pleasure this TIPisode has been transcribed:
Michelle Strange: A Tale of Two Hygienists presents this week’s TIPisode: Quick and easy tips to keep you up to date, and presented by the experts in the profession. Now, get ready for your unofficial TIPisode.
Noel Kelsch: Hi. This is Noel Kelsch. I want to thank you all for joining me today as we talk about infection control, my favorite topic, and maybe you’ll find it to be one of your favorite topics. I want to thank everyone who have been listening to these TIPisodes and sending me questions.
The first question today came from a listener who is working in a public health setting and had a child come up to her and put in the palm of her hand their extracted tooth that they had pulled out in the classroom. Well, it was covered with a little blood, and they were a little concerned and wanted to know how this should be handled. So I want to back up and I want to look and see what OSHA has to say, how this applies to the Bloodborne Pathogen standard, and what the tooth fairy has to say, of course, because we want to make sure that that tooth gets to the tooth fairy as quickly as possible.
But what are we supposed to be doing in the dental office? What are we supposed to do if a patient asks for their tooth? Can we give it to them? Can we give it to that adult patient? I don’t know if they’re going to be putting it under their pillow for the tooth fairy, but we have got to think about this.
So let’s look and see what OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen standards say: “Extracted teeth that are being discarded are subject to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Bloodborne Pathogen standards.” We all know that. Anything that comes out of that dental office that puts us at risk, we need to be looking at OSHA because they’re taking care of the employee. OSHA considers extracted teeth to be potentially infectious material that should be disposed of in medical waste containers. Extracted teeth containing amalgam are a whole other little picture here. They should not be placed in medical waste container that uses an incinerator [sic]. In other words, if they’re going to burn it, we don’t want to put amalgam in there. This could cause a lot of problems within our own environment.
So when we’re doing that final disposal, we’ve got to consult. We’ve got to go back and we’ve got to look and see what the state says. What local regulations regarding disposal of amalgam include means we’re going to be checking with the state, the county, the city.
One little nice note here. Many metal recycling companies will accept extracted teeth with amalgams. So I would really encourage you to contact your recycler to ask about its policies and handling instructions.
As you look up that part, set up a policy within your office. What you’re going to do with the extracted tooth without an amalgam and what you’re going to do with an extracted tooth with an amalgam. Make sure you educate everyone in the office about that.
Now, let’s go back to the tooth fairy for a minute. Can we give that child that tooth? And what kind of policy did we want to set up ahead of time? Can we give an adult patient that’s asking for their tooth, can we give it back to them? Well, I want to reassure you. Yes. You may return extracted teeth to the patients upon their request. Once an extracted tooth is returned to the patient, you no longer have a responsibility there. It is no longer considered a potential risk to dental health care professionals and is no longer subject to the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Bloodborne Pathogen standards.
So the tooth fairy can rest assured that we can still help with that end of it. And if grandpa wants his tooth back so he can put it under his pillow, hopefully the tooth fairy is going to be able to find him.
I want to thank you all for sending in those questions, and I hope that you understand as an aid to the tooth fairy what we are supposed to be doing with extracted teeth.
You’re making people’s smiles a little brighter, their health a little better. And it’s my hope that you will stay safe out there. Take care of you like you take care of your patients.
I want to thank Medicom for helping to sponsor this TIPisode, and I hope that you’re able to put it into practice. Thank you.
Michelle Strange: This TIPisode was brought to you by Medicom. Head over to Medicom.com and check out their products. They have gloves, mask [sic], sterilization pouches, and so much more. Make sure you take infection control into your hands with the best products. Check out Medicom.com.
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