Questions to Ask Your Dentist to Ensure Sanitary Conditions

Justin Pazera

Questions to Ask Your Dentist to Ensure Sanitary Conditions

CREATED Mar. 29, 2013

Dr. Christopher Stanosheck knows the world of dentistry well. He's practiced since 2000. He's owned his own business in Omaha for years. Allegations of a fellow doctor in Oklahoma ignoring what's common sense has Stanosheck puzzled. "Why would use reuse a needle?" asked Stanosheck. "Why would you reuse Lidocaine? Why would you not properly sterilize your instruments? They're cutting corners in a sense and you know when it comes to somebody's health, cutting corners is not what you want to do."

Saturday the Tulsa Health Department sent out about seven-thousand letters to patients of Dr. Wayne Scott Harrington, warning them of potential exposure to HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Harrington is accused of employing unlicensed dental assistants, even re-using rusty needles.

Stanosheck thinks that is just mind-boggling because needles are so cheap. The doctor says this is a blow to the dental industry and unnerving for patients. "It's pretty scary," said Brandon Koom, a patient of Stanosheck. "We as people in society put our trust in our doctors to do the right thing to take care of us."

Stanosheck says whenever you go to the dentist, ask questions and watch, make sure staff is washing their hands and pulling out clean gloves. Make sure there is a disinfection area and utensils are opened in front of you. "It's not out of line for you to ask the dentist to leave them wrapped until you sit down," said Stanosheck.

As for the Oklahoma case, the dental board says it doesn't do routine inspections because it's too busy chasing down other complaints. It's now reviewing that policy.