Infection Control in Dental Healthcare Settings
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) CDC develops a broad range of guidelines which are intended to improve the effectiveness and impact of public health interventions and inform key audiences, most often clinicians, public health practitioners, and the public.
Guidelines can be developed by formal advisory committees, ad hoc work groups, and CDC staff. Development processes can vary, depending on topic, available scientific data, urgency, resources, etc. and are based on a range of rationale, depending on the availability of scientific evidence.
This Guideline identifies infection control in Dental Healthcare Settings practices that CDC recommends for all settings where dental treatment is provided. Although CDC recommendations are not regulatory, some practices are mandated by federal, state, or local regulations. These are identified in the Recommendations Section of the CDC Guideline.
Why Is Infection Control Important in Dentistry?
Both patients and dental health care personnel (DHCP) can be exposed to pathogens
Contact with blood, oral and respiratory secretions, and contaminated equipment occurs
Proper procedures can prevent transmission of infections among patients and DHCP
Modes of Transmission
Dental patients and DHCP may be exposed to a variety of disease-causing microorganisms that are present in the mouth and respiratory tract. These organisms may be transmitted in dental settings through several routes, including:
- Intact or non-intact skin in direct contact with blood, oral fluids, or other potentially infectious patient materials.
- Indirect contact with a contaminated object (e.g., instruments, operatory equipment, or environmental surfaces).
- Contact of mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth with droplets (e.g., spatter) containing microorganisms generated (e.g., coughing, sneezing, talking) from an infected person and propelled a short distance.
- Inhalation of airborne microorganisms that can remain suspended in the air for long periods of time.
Read more in the Attached Lecture