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Disinfection and decontamination using Hypochlorous Acid

The health and safety of our patients and staff is paramount, and as a patient it is important to feel safe when entering a surgery. Dental practices have very specific decontamination and infection control procedure that they all have to adhere to. These are a legal requirement and the methods and protocols performed on a daily basis enable the Dutch Barton Dental Practice to help keep patients and staff members safe from cross-infection. These include:

  • Autoclaves to sterlise instruments using high-pressure steam – this process is digitally logged and individually checked.
  • Pre-sterilised bagged instruments for some single use procedures.
  • The provision of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for all staff and patients for every procedure.
  • Thorough disinfection (before and after each appointment) of all surfaces that dental team members and patients are in contact with.
  • Regular auditing of all disinfection and decontamination procedures.

How we use Hypochlorous Acid (HOCL) to keep you safe

In order to provide the safest environment for our patients and staff, we use hypochlorous acid throughout the practice. This is a weak acid, similar to that of a mild citrus juice, that is made naturally by white blood cells in all mammals for healing and protection. It acts as a powerful oxidant that is effective at killing bacteria, fungi and viruses – it is 100 times more efficient at killing microbial pathogens than sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach).

Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) can be produced by electrolysis – a process of passing electricity through a solution of water and table salt, or by using tablets that are dissolved in different volumes of water to produce the acid at a specific concentration. It is widely used in healthcare settings either as a safe but potent disinfectant, or at lower concentrations for safe use on skin, eyes, nasal cavities and as a mouth-rinse. As a non-toxic and non-hazardous product, it kills pathogens rapidly and safely.

At the Dutch Barton Dental Practice it is used for surface disinfection before and after every patient. In addition, it is now used regularly as a fogging agent throughout the practice for maximum disinfection effect, and as a non-toxic mouth-rinse before and after all treatments.

Recommended by the World Health Organisation

The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists hypochlorous acid as a “critical commodity for the purpose of PPE for health care facilities” throughout the world.

“HOCl eradicates all bacteria, mycobacteria, spores (which can lie dormant for 1000’s of years), fungi, viruses; even the tough Clostridium Difficile in 15 seconds.”

Supporting the HOCl Trust

We are delighted to offer our support to the HOCl Trust – this is a not-for-profit charity that promotes the use of hypochlorous acid as an essential PPE resource, and does fantastic work highlighting its effectiveness and providing information and advice to those using it.