Is your dental practice a safe place to go?

Is your dental practice a safe place to go and what is accreditation?

If you are a patient at CDP, then I can answer a resounding YES! and I am about to tell about something called Accreditation and how it applies to dental practices like CDP.

Going to the dentist is for some people can be intimidating. You have to trust that the dentist knows what they are doing and that the practice is clean and sanitary and follows health standards to prevent the anxiety level going up another notch.

There are a few very good ways to put your mind at ease – at least regarding the dentist and the practice.

Background checks:

  1. Registration.You can check that your dentist is a registered Dental practitioner by going to the AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) website (link below) and clicking on register of practitioners and then following the links to enter your dentist name – https://www.ahpra.gov.au/. All dentists within Australia must be registered with AHPRA. This means that all Dentists have to pass strict exams to be able to practice within Australia – even if a dentist is a registered dentist from another country they must pass the Australian Exams before they can practice within Australia.
  2. ADA Membership. You can check your dentist is a member of the ADA – Australian Dental Association – The Australian Dental Association is the peak national body for the dental profession encompassing the majority of dentists in the country. Just follow the link below and select the find a dentist tab and put in either the dentist name of the town / address that your dentist practices from.  https://www.ada.org.au/Home. Whilst not all dentist have to be registered with the ADA it displays another level of professionalism.
  3. Word of mouth – it’s an oldie but a goodie – talk to your friends/ family/workmates about their experiences.

Accreditation

You may be surprised to know that Dental Practices in Australia currently do not have to be legally accredited.  Dentists are very fortunate to be a highly trusted profession and there are many standards and procedures we are required to meet. A vast majority of practices will be doing all they can to ensure your safety.

So how do you know your in a safe and clean environment? If your practice is voluntarily accredited, you can rest assured. If there are no certificates on the wall indicating accreditation, why not take a look around the practice and be observant. A practice that follows strict infection control and safety procedures should:

  1. Have a clean and tidy appearance in all areas and smell fresh (yes it should smell like a dentist).
  2. The staff are clean and tidy – not all practices have uniforms but there is always a dress code in a neat and tidy practice.
  3. Dentist and clinical assistants wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as gloves, masks and glasses when providing your treatment. 
  4. You are provided with PPE as well (safety glasses, bib).
  5. Trays with instruments should be neat and tidy.
  6. There will, in most practices be the Dentist’s registration (which is renewed yearly) either displayed on the wall in reception or in the case of CDP, on the wall in the treatment room
  7. If all of the above are happening, hopefully you notice the staff are happy, helpful and cheerful as well!

Voluntary Accreditation

There is currently a voluntary Accreditation program that Dental practices can complete.  Accreditation is awarded after successful documentation of compliance with the current Standards. Compliance is determined by evaluation of written documents provided by the organization and by on-site inspection. The program takes 6 months to complete.

What is accreditation?

Accreditation is independent recognition that an organisation, service, program or activity meets the requirements of defined criteria or standards. Accreditation provides quality and performance assurance for owners, managers, staff, funding bodies and consumers. Accreditation is a tool to measure and improve performance and outcomes.

Accreditation can help an organisation to:

  • Provide independent recognition that the organisation is committed to safety and quality
  • Foster a culture of quality
  • Provide consumers with confidence
  • Build a better, more efficient organisation with quality and performance assurance
  • Increase capability
  • Reduce risk
  • Provide a competitive advantage over organisations that are not accredited, and
  • Comply with regulatory requirements, where relevant.

Here at CDP we are very excited and proud of the fact that we are an Accredited Dental Practice.

We follow strict policies and procedures on all aspects of dentistry which include the sterilisation of instruments, ongoing education of dentists and staff and the health and safety of patients and staff just to name a few.

So, rest assured that when you choose CDP to provide dental care for you and your family we will be providing you with caring, dedicated and professional staff in all areas, from the Dentist to the Clinical Assistants to Front Office staff. You are in safe hands.

By Karen Dolbel 

Practice Manager