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Sterilization Protocol

From using high-powered dental autoclaves, to a rigorous surface cleaning regimen, a strict practice of dental sterilization is a key part of how we do things here at Hicks Family Dentistry. We’ve been doing our part to ensure professional sterilization since we opened, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only strengthened our resolve.

Since opening our doors, we’ve followed the strict guidelines and recommendations established by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We’ve continued to monitor their updates, and have adjusted our sterilization protocols when needed.

We do all this to protect you, our other patients, and our team members. When you visit our office, you can be assured that all steps have been taken to protect your overall health; not just your dental health.

Ensuring All Surfaces Are Germ-Free

A spotless office isn’t good enough for us. Because we know some viruses and bacteria can live on an exposed surface for several hours or more, we rigorously clean every exposed surface in our office multiple times throughout every day.

After each patient exam or procedure, the rooms are thoroughly disinfected before the next one begins.

Hand-Washing and Protective Equipment We Use

Because hands are the most common way for viruses to be transmitted, all team members thoroughly wash their hands multiple times each day. Beyond that, we all wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as you’re being treated. Our PPE includes a face mask or guard face, shields, and disposable gloves.

Before your exam or procedure, you can be assured our team will put on a new pair of gloves. In fact, a fresh pair of gloves is used after each exam and after an object has been touched. As you can imagine, we go through a lot of gloves here. We do this because gloves can eliminate the chances of contamination by as much as 80 percent.

Dental Equipment Sterilization

Dental equipment requires intense sterilization methods. Here in our office, we do this with a dental autoclave and chemical-based solutions. With this approach, viruses, microbes, spores, and bacteria are neutralized long before they’re able to gain a foothold.

Instruments are sorted for cleaning, cleaned, then packaged in a sealed bag before future use. The autoclave uses high-pressured steam that’s been heated above the boiling point to remove any potential contaminants from our instruments.

Before an instrument or dental tool is used during your exam, you’ll see a team member unwrap it in front of you. “Single-use-only” tools stay in their factory-sealed packaging until they’re ready to be used. Afterward, they’re promptly disposed of. Single-use items are never re-used.

A Commitment to Sterilization

At Hicks Family Dentistry, your trust in us is essential. We want you to be assured that when you come in for your appointment, we’ve taken all the precautions possible to ensure your good health. We do all this to ensure your health and the health of others is not jeopardized.

We’ll continue to follow the ADA and CDC guidelines, and will make adjustments as needed. This careful balance is necessary to safeguard your health and protect others while you’re here.

If you’re not feeling well on the day of your appointment, we ask you to stay home and call us to reschedule. This protects you, our other patients, our team, and our community.

If you have questions about your upcoming dental visit at or need to reschedule, please reach out to us.

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