Dental Travel Guide
The Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) has publish a great Traveler’s Guide to Safe Dental Care. Below is just a small piece of a great page full of things you should know when traveling for dental care. the check list is a great start to a great dental vacation.
Checklist for Obtaining Safe Dental Care Abroad
Before you leave:
__ Visit your dentist for a check-up to reduce the chances you will have a dental emergency.
__ Consider appropriate vaccinations.
When seeking treatment for a dental emergency during your trip:
__ Consult hotel staff or the American Embassy or consulate for assistance in finding a dentist.
__ If possible, consider recommendations from Americans living in the area or from other trusted sources.
For the items below, if the answers to any of the asterisked (*) items are “No,” you should have reservations about the office’s infection control standards. If the answer to a two-star item (**) is “No,” consider making a swift but gracious exit.
When making the appointment, ask:
__ Do you use new gloves for each patient?*
__ Do you use an autoclave (steam sterilizer) or dry heat oven to sterilize your instruments between patients?**
__ Do you sterilize your handpieces (drills)?* (If not, do you disinfect them?)**
__ Do you use new needles for each patient?**
__ Is sterile (or boiled) water used for surgical procedures? ** (In areas where drinking water is unsafe, the water also may cause illness if used for dental treatment.)
Upon arriving at the office, observe the following:
__ Is the office clean and neat?
__ Do staff wash their hands, with soap, between patients?**
__ Do they wear gloves for all procedures?**
__ Do they clean and disinfect or use disposable covers on surfaces touched during treatment?
While it is important to be sensitive to cultural differences when making inquiries about the safety of dental care, remember that it is your health and well being that are at stake.
By Thomas Altstatt, International Medical Destinations Blogger
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