| FAQ - Office Design & Management - Archived Through 2012
Is carpet appropriate for a dental office?
Compared to non-porous, hard-surface flooring, carpeting is more difficult to keep clean and cannot be reliably disinfected, especially after spills of blood and body substances. Several studies have documented the presence of diverse microbial populations, primarily bacteria and fungi, in carpeting.(1,2) Cloth furnishings pose similar contamination risks in areas of direct patient care and where contaminated materials are managed (e.g., dental operatory, laboratory, instrument processing area). For these reasons, carpeted flooring and upholstered furnishings should be avoided in these areas.
(1) Gerson SL, Parker P, Jacobs MR, Creger R, Lazarus HM. Aspergillosis due to carpet contamination. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 1994;15(4 Pt 1):221-3
(2) Suzuki A, Namba Y, Matsuura M, Horisawa A. Bacterial contamination of floors and other surfaces in operating rooms: a five-year survey. J Hyg (Lond) 1984;93(3):559-66 If possible, instruments should be cleaned and sterilized in an area designated for that purpose. If a lack of space prohibits this scenario, establish a clearly defined location for holding and processing contaminated instruments and devices. Ensure that this area is physically separated from the area where clean instruments are stored. If instruments must be decontaminated in patient treatment areas, don't seat the next patient until all instrument processing has been completed and the area has been cleaned and disinfected.