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DENTISTS TAKING GREAT PRECAUTIONS TO INSURE PATIENT SAFETY

 DENTISTS TAKING GREAT PRECAUTIONS TO INSURE PATIENT SAFETY
 EVERETT, Wash., March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Snohomish County dentists are taking greater precautions to insure patient safety and reduce any potential for transferrance of Hepatitis, HIV and other bloodborne diseases between patients and from dentist to patient. Since October some of them have enrolled in the new sterilization monitoring program pioneered in 1991 by two former professors in the University of Washington (UW) Schools of Medicine and Dentistry. They join over 60 Puget Sound area dentists who have recently enrolled in the STERILCHEK(TM) program.
 The service uses biological indicators to verify whether or not a dental office sterilizer is working properly. "In the dental office, sterilization equipment is a primary defense against cross infection," commented Dr. Bernard Moncla, co-founder and president, "all concerned dental professionals want to protect their patients from the potential consequences of a failed sterilization procedure. The objective of the STERILCHEK service is to assure that the sterilizer is doing its job."
 A recent article in The Journal of The American Dental Association found that 18 percent of sterilization procedures fail (A). "To our dental clients," added Dr. James Clagett, company co-founder and former UW professor, "an 18 percent chance of failure is too high. The Washington State Dental Disciplinary Board's proposed new law (WAC 246-816-720) requires regular biological indicator testing of sterilizers by dentists."
 Snohomish County dentists are not waiting for the new law; they are taking a proactive and aggressive stance to minimize their patients' health risks. Lynnwood dentist Dr. Robert Eilert, for example, switched to STERILCHEK in November, within weeks of the company's official startup announcement. "I take every reasonable precaution that I can to safeguard my patients from risk. I believe every sterilizer in any dental or medical office should have a second opinion. STERILCHEK is one of the best second opinions that money can buy."
 Co-founder Moncla was a faculty member of the University of Washington Departments of Periodontics and Oral Biology from 1984 to 1991. Clagett was a tenured professor of Microbiology-Immunology and Periodontics at the University of Washington Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, respectively. Both have been widely published in academic journals and have been consultants to biotechnology companies and the National Institute of Health.
 The STERILCHEK method is approved by OSHA, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and The American Dental Association (ADA). ADA and CDC guidelines indicate weekly testing is appropriate for most dental practices. For information on STERILCHEK, dentists and physicians, as well as the general public, can contact J. DeBruler, vice president of Dental Diagnostic Services at 206-462-0441 or 800-248-0946.
 (A) "Instrument Sterilization Procedures" The Journal of the American Dental Association, Vol. 122, October 1991, pp. 51-56.
 -0- 3/4/92
 /CONTACT: J. DeBruler of Dental Diagnostic Services, 206-462-0441 or after hours, 206-462-8008/ CO: Dental Diagnostic Services Inc. ST: Washington IN: HEA SU:


JH-TB -- SE001 -- 4893 03/04/92 11:02 EST
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Date:Mar 4, 1992
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