We meet again. This time i will be talking about the first department when a patient visit us in dental hospital. It is the Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology.
Usually when a patient show up in our dental hospital they have to register first so that their out patient department card can be made. After that they have to come this department so that their oral health can be assess.
We make the patient sit comfortably on the dental chair and start to talk to the patient so that a complete case history can be taken. We're going to ask the patient's name and all the personal details. After that we're going to ask about the chief complaint. Chief complaint is the reason why the patient seek help from us the dentists. What makes them come to visit us and based on the complaint then we will try to diagnose and treat them accordingly.
When we're done with the case history then we'll start looking into the patient's mouth. All the findings will be recorded with the help of an assistant. To check the patient's mouth we need the dental instruments which are mouth mirror and probe.
All the instruments to make them safe to be use in the patient's mouth need to be sterilized. At this point of view the sterilization come into picture. The readers must be wandering what does it means with the sterilization. According to the definition it is defined as the process by which an article, medium or surface is made free of all microorganisms either in the vegetative or spore form.
Or in the simple words we can say it is a process by which something is made free of germs so that it is safe to use and won't cause any harm.
Many of us wouldn't know the importance of these instruments to be sterilized. Even for me before come to learn about this part wouldn't care much about it.
And sometimes people just don't
know.It can be one way of introducing subacute bacterial endocarditis (SABE) in patients with heart problem as an example. I'll be dealing with SABE in detail later.
There are so many ways to render the safety of the instruments. The most popular one is to use autoclave. It is because it has the most penetrative power. The picture on the right side show the autoclave in which we have to keep the instruments for 15-20 minutes at 121 degree celcius. And all the instruments which had been sterilized we call them as sterile and shouldn't be touch unless the dentist wear a sterile gloves.
Besides making sure all the instruments are sterilized the dentist himself should be scrub in before working with the patient. From the dentist point of view, we have to at least wash our hand properly. Without touching anything else then we will wear the gloves. Apart from that we should wear head cap and mouth mask before wash our hand. We should also wear gown whenever it is necessary. This precautions has to be taken not only to protect the patient from infection but also the dentist himself and also the next patient.
Dentist wearing head cap, mouth mask and gloves before starting any procedure.
The chain of infection in which we have to break the chain so that any procedure will be safe to perform.
So we as dentists will try to break the chain of infection by prevent the entry of microorganisms into the patient's mouth. The patient himself have to make sure that they are fit enough to receive any treatment. With all of these preparation then only the treatment can be initiate.
Back to when the patient is still in the dental chair and we are checking on them. After all the checking we are going to give a diagnosis regarding the problem that the patient had highlight before. In order to arrive to the accurate diagnosis we might advice some investigations like radiograph and sometimes a biopsy for suspicious lesion.
Finally after all the investigations then we can give the diagnosis and accordingly the treatment plan. The patient will be refer to other specific department regarding their problem for the treatment.
So, that is what we mainly do in this department. We should have thorough knowledge about oral health to give diagnosis. Apart from that we should take good care about infection control. The skill of communications with the patient is also an important thing to elicit proper history.
With that i'll be pen off now, till we meet again next time. Hopefully if not much, this post will give readers a picture what is happening behind the scene. As i always made a point brush your teeth twice a day and smile always.... =)