A Chicago Injury Lawyer Shares Tips to Avoid Infection at the Dentist

May 21, 2013

A Chicago medical malpractice lawyer recently learned of a cross infection scare at a Tulsa, Oklahoma, dental office. Cross infection, the transfer of infection from one patient to another, can occur when healthcare workers fail to follow proper sanitation procedures.  The attorneys at Lane Brown wanted to offer some tips to help you avoid contracting an infection the next time you go to the dentist.


As patients, we know very little about what goes on behind the scenes at our dentist’s office.  After all, we cannot see much aside from the waiting room, the exam room, and the path between the two. The issue of cross-contamination is an invisible risk—your safety is entirely up to the dental professionals that you choose to trust.  However, you are not powerless.  You can help prevent a Chicago Dental Office Injury from happening to you. Following are five tips to help you discover just how clean your dentist’s office is:

  1. Look around the office – Is it clean and organized?  A cluttered and disorganized office could be an indication of the dentist’s sanitation practices.
  2. Watch for gloves – Gloves are the first defense against infection. Every dentist and hygienist should wear them, changing gloves between each patient. Were the gloves taken from a dispenser? What surfaces did they touch prior to your mouth?
  3. Check out the dental instruments – Instruments should be sterilized before use. Were they taken from sealed bags, evidence of sterilization in an autoclave? Were they sitting on a sterile tray or a dirty countertop?  Do not be afraid to ask about the sterilization process.
  4. Ask about autoclave validation report –Periodically, a third party sends the dental practice a batch of difficult-to-kill bacteria. The dental staff sterilizes the bacteria in the autoclave and sends the sample back to the third party to verify that the autoclave is working properly. A good dentist should be willing to show you the test results.
  5. Ask questions – Dentists with strong infection control protocols should be more than willing to answer any questions you have about their procedures.


If you contracted a serious infection or suffered some other injury after a visit to the dentist, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. An experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney at Lane Brown will examine the facts of your case, answer your questions, and help you to understand your legal options. Give us a call today at 312-332-1400 to schedule your free consultation. We are standing by to help.

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