The Children’s Dental Group will reopen its Anaheim clinic for all patients on April 24. The clinic had been closed since December, when the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) found Mycobacterium in multiple samples taken from its water system. The OCHCA had ordered the installation of the water system after the practice’s previous setup had tested positive for Mycobacterium as well.
“We are pleased that we have met all of the conditions of OCHCA’s December 2016 order and that we may operate again in an exceptionally safe, child-friendly environment where high-quality care, patient satisfaction, and safety are at the forefront of our mission,” said Jerry Minsky, DDS, the company’s chief dental officer.
According to the OCHCA, the clinic was the source of 22 confirmed and 46 probable cases of infections affecting children between the ages of 2 and 11 years who had pulpotomies there between February 4 and August 20, 2016. All of these children have been hospitalized at some point, with treatments including long-term intravenous antibiotics, surgery to remove the infection, and, in some cases, tooth extractions and jaw reconstruction.
In response, the OCHCA sought certifications from the Dental Board of California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other organizations and experts regarding the removal of all sources of bacteria potentially posing risk, compliance with the dental board’s accepted standards of practice, and the absence of bacterial levels that pose any risk before the clinic could reopen.
According to the Children’s Dental Group, the company has undergone several evaluations, analyses, audits, and tests related to the water systems, clinical care, and infection control and sterilization processes and procedures. It also has collaborated with scientists, clinicians, and other experts to enact infection control, sterilization, and safety practices beyond those required by dental industry standards, the company says.
“We are pleased to do this in the interest of patient welfare, and we are confident that patients will be well protected by the extraordinary water safety systems, infection, control, and sterilization practices that have been adopted. Families can take comfort in the knowledge that the quality of care and safety practices at our clinic offer high levels of protection for our patients,” Minsky said.