As a dentist, you always place the safety of your practice first. However, there are occupational hazards that can slip through the cracks. But they can be preventable.
We’ll be taking a look at 3 occupational hazards that can exist in a dental office and how you can prevent them. At a time when COVID-19 is still running rampant across the world, no time is better than now (especially after the pandemic subsides) to take the necessary precautions to ensure that your patients and freelance dental assistants, hygienists, and the rest of your staff are well protected.
Safety must be a priority for everyone who walks in and out of your practice. There is no better way to say it. And you shouldn’t cut corners or make compromises about it either.
Let’s take a look at the list of occupational hazards that you must absolutely avoid so you, your patients, and staff won’t get sick or injured:
There are scores of infectious diseases that can be spread from one person to the next. Especially in a healthcare facility. As mentioned before, COVID-19 has dental and medical offices on constant high alert. Regardless, it’s important for staff to wear protective gear.
A face mask must be worn at all times (especially when tending to patients). You can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and even other illnesses while wearing a mask. If a mask might not be a good option, consider a face shield that covers the entire face.
But don’t stop beyond masks. You also should wear protective clothing and rubber gloves. Not only can diseases be spread from saliva, but it can also be bloodborne as well.
2. Physical pain
A lot of physical pain can be inflicted in a dental office. There is lighting that you need to adjust, manipulating dental instruments in a manner that seems a lot more difficult than usual, and being in unnatural (and uncomfortable) positions for lengthy periods. These are preventable in more ways than one.
First, you should consider using ergonomically friendly tools. Second, consider stretching during breaks or in between patients to lessen your risk of injury.
3. Radiation exposure
One of the most common tasks for a dental professional to do is take x-rays. And they use radiation to make x-rays more effective. While technology has come a long way to lessen the risk of radiation exposure, the risk itself is still present in a number of dental practices.
Obviously, there’s a link between radiation exposure and cancer. For this reason, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission says that no dental employee should be exposed to more than 5000 mrem of radiation per year. Those who are pregnant or nursing must not be exposed to a 1/10 of that (even per year).
Dosimeter badges are often common for those who are authorized to operate an x-ray machine. These meters are designed to monitor the amounts of radiation that they are exposed to. And they will be warned whenever they are exposed to a higher than normal amount of it.
While there are many occupational hazards that exist in a dental practice, these three are among the most dangerous. Since they are easily preventable, you can take the necessary precautions to ensure that the risk of injury or illness is low.
When hiring new talent for your practice, it’s also important to give them a safety orientation so they can be aware of what could happen in a dental office in terms of occupational hazards. But first, you’ll need to find them. All you have to do is sign up for Stynt using either this form or by downloading the mobile app.