Years ago, the only way dentists had to keep their work area in a patient’s mouth free of debris was to periodically give the patient a cup of water to rinse and then spit into a spit bowl. This added to the time it took for otherwise simple procedures. It also didn’t work adequately.
The introduction of dental evacuation systems changed all of that.
Now, a suction tube can be placed at a strategic place in the patient’s mouth to keep not only debris but also accumulated saliva cleaned out of the area all through the procedure. Work on the teeth needs to stop only briefly while the patient closes their mouth on the tube so any missed debris and saliva can be suctioned out.
This only takes a few seconds rather than the few minutes rinsing and spitting used to take. It is far more efficient and the patient doesn’t have to deal with little bits of debris still in their mouth even after leaving the dental office.
Patients, dentists and dental assistants have become so used to this device that it can be taken for granted. That is until is loses suction or clogs up completely in the middle of a procedure.
Since this is something that dental offices want to avoid happening, it is clear that routinely checking and cleaning the equipment is necessary.
At the very least, the evacuation system needs to be checked and cleaned at the end of each day.
Checking to be sure every part of it is functioning properly should be part of the routine of preparing the office for the start of each day and then check again at the end of the day.
Cleaning may need to be done more often, depending on the number of patients seen during the day. Use an evacuation system cleaner to clean out any debris and blood, followed by a disinfectant, being run through all the tubing. Between patients, disinfect the low-volume tubing.