Surface Disinfection

Cleaning is a process that removes contamination from surfaces, and is the pre-requisite for disinfection and sterilisation.

Surface Cleaning & Disinfection

Surface cleaning and disinfection is critical for effective infection control measures in the dental surgery. The practice should have a local protocol clearly outlining the surface and room-cleaning schedules. This can be in the form of an infection control policy, infection control statement and daily surgery log book checks. The practice manager should carry out regular surgery spot checks.

Bacteria, viruses and fungi may be present in the surgery and in particular on the work surfaces after treating a patient, so the cleaning and disinfection of surfaces is paramount to patient safety.

When Should Surfaces Be Cleaned & Disinfected?

  • Before clinical sessions
  • Between patients
  • End of clinical sessions

HTM 01-05 (England & Northern Ireland) and WHTM 01-05 (Wales) both state in Section 6.61

‘The patient treatment area should be cleaned after every session using disposable cloths or clean microfibre materials – even if the area appears uncontaminated.’

Between Each Patient:

  • Work surfaces
  • Dental chair (must be free from rips)
  • Curing lamps
  • Inspection lights and handles (should be protected with disposable coverings)
  • Hand controls
  • Trolleys/ delivery units
  • Spittoons
  • Aspirators
  • X-ray units
  • Any equipment used during dental procedures should be wiped after each use and thoroughly cleaned at the end of the session. Plastic disposable covers can be used but are not a replacement for frequent cleaning.

After Every Session:

  • Taps
  • Drainage points
  • Splashbacks
  • Sinks
  • Cupboards
  • Floor surfaces
  • Around the foot of the dental chair
  • Spittoons need a thorough cleaning according to manufacturer’s instructions

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