(NaturalNews) Former patients of W. Scott Harrington, 35-year oral surgeon, are waiting to see if they were exposed to hepatitis B, C and HIV after receiving care at his office. Unsanitary conditions, and a reported hepatitis C case from one of Harrington's patients led to the current screening of some 420 individuals, who must wait two weeks for results.
"Investigators discovered unsanitary, unprofessional conditions at Harrington's office in Owasso, 14 miles northeast of Tulsa, that one official said created a 'perfect storm' for infections," according to the CNN report.
After the investigators found multiple infractions including staffing, sterilization, and others, 64-year-old Harrington surrendered his dental license.
"We were just physically kind of sick," said executive director of the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry, Susan Rogers after looking through the office. "That's how bad it was, and I've seen a lot of bad stuff over the years."
More than unsanitary conditions, it was discovered that "unauthorized, unlicensed" staff were clumsily administering intravenous to sedating patients. In addition, expired drugs were found in the cabinets.
Five infection control measures your dentist should be taking
Here is a checklist presented by Mark Burhenne, practicing family and cosmetic dentist of 25 years, and founder of AsktheDentist.com.
1) Gloves - Gloves should be pulled from glove dispenser only. Nothing but sterile tools and your mouth should be touched.
2) Clean office - Tidy, uncluttered offices are easier to keep clean. There should be no carpets as they cannot be sterilized properly. Special containers should be used for proper needle disposal.
3) Autoclave validation - A certificate from a third party indicating how well the sterilization machine is functioning. This is a measurement of the effectiveness of biological monitoring at the office.
4) Instruments - Instruments that have been sterilized (in the autoclave machine) will come from a sealed bag and placed on a sterile tray and only handled with clean gloves.
5) Ask questions - Discuss sterilization practices with your dentist. He or she should be happy to reply to any questions.
Consider at-home dentistry
With a story like this coming to light, it is a good time to inform people that at-home dentistry practices do exist.
People are successfully caring for their teeth and gums at home with a variety of essential oils, clays and homemade toothpastes. Research the topic and perhaps consider seeing only a well researched dentist for emergencies only.
About the author: Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general.