Patient safety is a top concern for dentists who work hard to ensure their patients are safe and healthy. Research shows that cross-infection can still happen, although it is rare.

Experts say that most dental offices sterilize equipment properly between patients. But, there are many variations in infection control practices. One piece of equipment that continues to cause concern is the saliva-ejection devices, which are used multiple times per day during patient care. These valves can become infected by millions of pathogens. This includes blood proteins, which travel through high-volume and low-volume suction tips. Additionally, aerosolized saliva that covers nearby equipment and surfaces may also be present. This bio-burden can infect any patient who comes into contact with the valve. You, the consumer, will not know if your dentist properly sterilized it between patients. You can still have some control, however. This checklist can help you to reduce anxiety during your next visit to the dentist.

* Watch the gloves. Is your dentist using a dispenser to get gloves or an unsterilized countertop for the gloves? What do you see your dentist doing with the gloves? What do they do with the gloves?

* Check out the office. Cleanliness in the office will lead to better infection control. More mess means it is more difficult for equipment and countertops to be sterilized.

* Ask questions and understand how risks can be avoided. One area of concern is backflow. This is the problem with the saliva-evacuation tube or tip, which is used during dental procedures to remove saliva and other fluids. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 5 people who close the lips around the straw might experience backflow. This could cause a drop in vacuum pressure, which can allow fluids that have been evacuated to flow backwards into patients’ mouths, potentially exposing them for infection. St. Louis-based doctors are able to provide this information. Stoma DentalA new disposable saliva-ejector vale may be the solution. DOVE Backflow Prevention Valve prevents backflow and reduces cross-contamination. This valve is only designed for suction and flow. An internal flap also prevents backflow. These new valves can be easily changed between patients because they are disposable. This reduces germs from landing on them.

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Today’s life is very fast. People can check their kids’ soccer scores on the phone, while also sending emails to work with the help of digital technology. With the advent of the Internet, consumers can expect the same conveniences from all services and businesses except their insurance companies. Although 98 per cent of insurance claims are processed within 30 working days, it can be frustrating for those who have difficulty paying their medical bills.

As nearly two-thirds American households earn less than 2002, being insured isn’t enough. It is vital to understand how quickly and efficiently your insurance carrier pays claims. This is important for both financial and medical recovery.

Recent research found that 66% would not be able to adjust to the high financial cost of serious illnesses or injuries. Only 49% of workers have over $1,000 to pay out-of-pocket costs. Employers are being forced to reduce costs as rising health care costs put even more financial pressure on their employees.

* Increasing employees’ health care insurance copayments.

* Increasing employees’ share of premium.

* Implementing high-deductible health plans with health savings accounts.

A lot of people will have to wait for up to a few months before receiving their insurance payments. Many insurance companies strive to provide fast service with better technology and better understanding of customers’ needs. This is just one example. AflacIt is almost rare for insurance companies to offer policies that include claims processing, approval, and payment in a single day.

In the past, fast payment policies were viewed as a luxury. It is a necessity in today’s world. It is vital to have funds readily available for serious illness or injury. Your insurance company should be able to respond quickly.

Aflac’s One Day Pay Promise can be found at