Evaluation of environmental bacterial contamination and procedures to control cross infection in a sample of Italian dental surgeries.
OBJECTIVES: To perform a pilot study on bacterial contamination in some dental surgeries (n=51) in a local health unit in Brescia (Lombardy Region, Italy) and to evaluate the procedures to control cross infection used by the personnel to reduce the risk of infection in dental practice. METHODS: A survey was carried out by interviewing 133 dental personnel with a questionnaire on the procedures used to control infection. The autoclaves, chemical baths (chemiclaves), and ovens present in the surgeries were tested for sterilisation efficiency with a spore test, and already packed and sterilised instruments were randomly sampled and tested for sterility. Microbial contamination of air, surface, and dental unit water samples were also studied. RESULTS: The dental personnel did not generally follow the principal procedures for infection control: 30% of personnel were not vaccinated against hepatitis B virus, infected instruments were often not decontaminated, periodic checks of autoclave efficiency were lacking, and the knowledge of disinfection mechanisms and procedures was incomplete. High bacteriological contamination of water at dental surgeries was often found and total bacteriological counts in air samples were high. Surface studies showed widespread bacterial contamination. CONCLUSIONS: On the basis of these results, an educational programme for the prevention of infective hazards has been prepared and carried out. The results of this pilot study will be used for planning a national survey. (+info)
Microbial aerosols in general dental practice.
OBJECTIVE: To measure the concentration of microbial aerosols in general dental practices and to use this information to carry out quantitative microbiological risk assessments. METHODOLOGY: Microbial air sampling was carried out continuously during 12 treatment sessions in 6 general dental practices in the South West of England. RESULTS: The microbial aerosol concentration in treatment rooms was generally less than 10(3) colony forming units per cubic metre of air (cfu x m(-3)). However, in 6 out of the 12 visits, at least one peak concentration with much higher numbers of bacteria was detected. The peak concentrations were associated with increased recoveries of presumptive oral streptococci suggesting these aerosols originated from the mouths of patients. These aerosol peaks dissipated within 30 minutes and no dissemination into waiting areas was detected. The peak concentrations were associated with mechanical scaling procedures (47% of procedures giving rise to a peak) and to a lesser extent by cavity preparation (11%). No aerosolised blood was detected. CONCLUSIONS: The data have been used to generate a framework for quantifying risk of exposure of staff to aerosolised microbial pathogens in general dental practice. For example, dentists and their assistants may have a slightly higher risk of exposure to Mycobacterium tuberculosis than the general public. The use of face seal masks that have been shown to protect against aerosolised micro-organisms may reduce this exposure. (+info)
A practical guide to tobacco cessation in dental offices.
Tobacco use is an important risk factor for advanced periodontitis, poor response to periodontal therapy, oral neoplasms, and dental implant failure. Given the effect of tobacco use on oral health, the dental office may be an ideal place for tobacco cessation intervention, especially since a large proportion of smokers visit their dentist on a regular basis. This paper reviews various tobacco cessation strategies for the dental office and provides practical information on assessing patients' readiness to quit and choosing appropriate tobacco cessation interventions. (+info)
Tobacco cessation through dental office settings.
There is increasing interest in broadly inclusive public health interventions that involve low-cost, self-help materials and minimal support from professionals. Dental health care workers (DHCWs) are a largely untapped resource for providing advice and brief counseling to tobacco-using patients, and there are good reasons to believe that they can be effective in this role. The results of our randomized clinical trials have shown that a brief dental office-based intervention can be effective in helping smokeless tobacco users to quit and smokers to reduce their use and become more ready to quit. A third clinical trial tested the effectiveness of two methods of disseminating the smokeless tobacco intervention to DHCWs throughout the western United States. Workshops were more effective than self-study in effecting behavior change, although our analyses indicate that self-study was more cost-efficient. These studies have demonstrated the viability of using dentists and dental hygienists to provide brief cessation advice and supportive materials in the context of regular oral health visits to encourage their patients to quit. The results of these studies also support the timeliness of further dissemination and diffusion of this program to practitioners, dental schools, and dental hygiene programs. (+info)
Potential risk for lead exposure in dental offices.
In December 2000, the Washington State Health Department discovered white powder that was found to be lead oxide in boxes used to store dental intraoral radiograph film. The Washington State Health Department alerted state health departments throughout the United States. Subsequently, the Wisconsin Division of Public Health (WDPH) conducted an investigation of dental offices in the state. This report summarizes the investigation, which indicated that similar storage boxes are used in Wisconsin. The findings indicate that patients are at risk for exposure to a substantial amount of lead during a dental radiograph procedure if the office stores dental film in these boxes. (+info)
Disability part 3: improving access to dental practices in Merseyside.
Several Merseyside dental practices took part in disability access audits of practice premises and practice staff took part in disability awareness training. Grants were awarded to part-fund improvements to practice facilities in line with the recommendations in the audit reports. The dental teams reported that the awareness training was very valuable and many common issues arose from the audits. Access for disabled people needs to be considered in all practice developments to ensure that dental practices comply with Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act by 2004. (+info)
Risk of exposure to Legionella in dental practice.
Aerosols generated in dental operations are a source of exposure to microorganisms proliferated within dental unit waterlines (DUWL) biofilm. It has been suggested that presence of Legionella species in these aerosols may contribute to potential health hazards for dental staff and patients. The article attempts to provide a brief overview of the current knowledge about Legionella, its prevalence in DUWL, immunological reactions of the dentists and concepts for prophylaxis of Legionella in dentists' work place. (+info)
Designing your office for technology.
BACKGROUND: To practice efficiently, dentists need to consider the successful integration of technologies, which can benefit their practice of dentistry. The physical environment of the office must be developed to accommodate not only the appropriate placement of computer hardware and high-tech dental devices, but their interconnectivity, as well. CONCLUSION: Dentists need to make appropriate decisions regarding the types of technology they choose to integrate into their offices, and they need to understand how the technology will be installed and integrated. An office designed to optimize the use of technology will produce ongoing benefits for dentists, their staff members and their patients throughout the lives of their practices. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: A dentist's practice must be planned to accommodate networks of systems hidden below floors, above ceilings and within walls, as well as to support and connect diverse technology items throughout the office. (+info)