Infection Control in Dentistry
The main aim of infection control in dental practice is to prevent the transmission of disease-causing agents like bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc. from one patient to another patient, from patients to a dental practitioner or wiseversa.
However, it is essential that endogenous spread of infection also be prevented by limiting the spread of infectious agents. The increase in the incidence of spreadable diseases like AIDS, hepatitis, herpes simplex, etc., the dental practitioners has diversified its attitude towards cross infection measures. The different barrier techniques such as mouth mask, gloves, protective eyewear, protective clothing, etc. are precisely advised to guard both the dental practitioner as well as the patient from cross infection during the routine examination and dental treatments. Hence, infection control can also provide the patient with a sense of safety and trust towards the dentist.
Nowadays, many countries maintain acceptable standards in dental infection control and safety imposed by a higher level of practice standards which were formulated by regulatory bodies in their respective countries to improve the level of safety. Many patients were infected with Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) by dental practitioners were reported in different regions of the United States of America (USA) during the 1960s and 1970s. Still, infection control did not gain significance, perhaps due to the approach of vaccines to resist the HBV virus.
Although concepts in dental infection control were improved in the 1960s and were accomplish after human immunodeficiency viral (HIV) infections extended epidemic proportions. Infection control gained further momentum in the USA after patients treated by an HIV infected dental practitioner later tested positive for the HIV virus, and also after dental auxiliaries became infected while involved in patient dental treatment procedures. While this disease has been spreading the African subcontinent since the late 1980s and currently Asia and South-Asia in specifically. It is now being restrained in the USA and Western Europe, where dental practitioners have improved their practice of infection.
At Kawartha Endodontics and Willowdale Endodontics, we put extreme emphasis on infection prevention and control while ensuring that we exceed all the Canadian standards. As a group, we follow the RCDSO IPAC Standard and public health guidelines as well as the recommendations of manufacturers of sterilization and other dental office equipment to ensure patient safety at all times.