No one can dispute that Dr. Gordon J. Christensen of Clinicians Report is the gold standard for independent product testing in the Dental Industry. It was with pleasure that we noticed their FREE report published at the end of 2013 is a review of Infection Control Products. The more significant fact, validating the link between evac suction and patient hygiene, was to see Bio-Pure included in their Buying Guide: Best Products Evaluated During 2013.
As stated in the introduction: "The OSHA Blood Borne Pathogen Standard (OSHA) became U.S. Law in March 1992. Since then, attention to infection control (IC) practices in the dental office has increased.
In December 2003, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released “Guidelines for Infection Control in the Dental Health-Care Settings – 2013.” Although these latest guidelines are not law, they became “standard of care.”
The problem I have, which is clearly stated by Dr Christensen, is that these infection control requirements are not law. We agree that "standard of care" is considerably better than nothing, but having listened to some of the "horror stories" on "lack of" cleaning protocols for evacuation system or chair side trap cleaning this last year, there is clearly much more that needs to be done.
The FREE report covers 12 categories of products, leading with a category called Air Water & Evacuation. The two products reviewed are disposable Air/Water Syringe Tips. I thought this information, found on the product page of Dental Products Shopper said exactly what we wanted to say.
"One area in the dental office where disposable instruments are particularly important is the use of evacuation tips. Blood, saliva, and dental materials can build up in the evacuation tips’ chambers. Over time, that build up becomes more and more difficult to properly clean."
It may have been "poetic license" to include this statement on evacuation tips and how "not clean" as a reference to a syringe tip. But the principle is the same. One way to ensure that clean, as in hygienic clean, is to use a disposable item. The issue again for us is that this is also not the full story. What should the dental office do with products like lines, pipes, traps and amalgam separators which are also part of an evacuation system, and for which there is no disposable solution. They are also exposed to "Blood, saliva, and dental materials" - but they have to be cleaned. These items may not actually go into the patients mouth, but we find that "slow suction" can easily result in material that lives and breeds in the system, can all too easily reverse their way into the patients mouth. What we know as Flow Back.
As I wrote in my article, Are you using too many chemicals in your dental practice - encouraging the "office team" to engage in internal discussion on minor products with significant infection control implications. In this case looking at micro biology as an alternative science to chemicals for cleaning. Where the real issue is not the comparison of products - but the willingness of a practice to "hear" that certain issues ARE an infection control risk.
I was a little disappointed that the free report on Hygiene Products, in the category of Air Water & Evacuation, did not include any products related to evacuation systems. I was delighted to find, on doing some deeper "sleuthing" on the Clinicians Report web site, that Bio-Pure Products Inc. was one of the companies listed.
Go to the Clinicians Report home page - select the bottom drop down in the search "company" - select Bio-Pure Products. Click search, and you will be presented with their CR BUYING GUIDE : Best Products Evaluated During 2013 - November/December 2013 Volume 6 Issue 6.