Action on smoking--opportunities for the dental team.
In 1998, the UK government published a White Paper outlining a comprehensive range of measures to reduce smoking rates across the population. In the same year a detailed overview of the evidence base for smoking cessation activities within the NHS was published. Both these documents provide useful information for health professionals interested in developing their roles in smoking cessation and prevention. An increased risk for the development of oral malignancies and a susceptibility for the breakdown of periodontal tissues are the most significant effects of smoking on the mouth. This paper aims to highlight how dentists and their team members can become actively involved in efforts to reduce smoking. Opportunities at both a clinical and public health level are considered. (+info)
Introducing safety syringes into a UK dental school--a controlled study.
AIM: How an appropriate safety syringe was chosen, how the change-over to it was achieved and what outcome measures were used to measure the effectiveness of this change. INTRODUCTION: One third of all reported sharps injuries in dental practice are due to the use of non disposable dental syringes with most injuries being sustained during removal and disposal of the disposable needle from the non-disposable syringe. METHOD: After evaluation of all available disposable safety syringes they were introduced into a dental school after appropriate education of all staff and students. Risk management provided data on all reported needle-stick injuries in the dental school and a control unit using non disposable syringes for a period of two years. RESULTS: Avoidable needle stick injuries reduced from an average of 11.8 to 0 injuries per 1,000,000 hours worked per year as compared with a control unit who reduced their frequency from 26 to 20 injuries per 1,000,000 hours worked. The cost of safety syringes is comparable to non-disposable syringes but the reduction in cost of management of needle stick injuries including the psychological effects are significant. CONCLUSION: Education plays a vitally important role in the effective implementation of the change to safety syringes which is advocated for all dentists. (+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)
Occupational exposures to blood in a dental teaching environment: results of a ten-year surveillance study.
Evaluation of occupational exposures can assist with practice modifications, redesign of equipment, and targeted educational efforts. The data presented in this report has been collected as part of a ten-year surveillance program of occupational exposures to blood or other potentially infectious materials in a large dental teaching institution. From 1987 to 1997, a total of 504 percutaneous/non-intact skin and mucous membrane exposures were documented. Of these, 494 (98 percent) were percutaneous, and 10 (2 percent) were mucosal, each involving a splash to the eye of the dental care worker (DCW). Among the 504 exposures, 414 (82.1 percent) occurred among dental students, 60 (11.9 percent) among staff, and 30 (6 percent) among faculty. One hundred ninety-one (37.9 percent) exposures were superficial (no bleeding), 260 (51.6 percent) were moderate (some bleeding), and 53 (10.5 percent) were deep (heavy bleeding). Regarding the circumstances of exposure, 279 (54.5 percent) of the injuries occurred post-operatively (after the use of the device), and most were related to instrument clean-up; 210 (41.0 percent) occurred intra-operatively (during the use of the device); and 23 (4.5 percent) occurred when a DCW collided with a sharp object in the dental operatory (eight cases involved more than one circumstance). The overall exposure rate for the college was 2.46+/-0.11 SD per 10,000 patient visits. The average rate for the student population was 4.02+/-0.20 SD per 100 person-years, with the highest rates being observed among junior year students. The observed rates of occupational exposures to blood and body fluids in this report are consistent with published reports from several other educational settings. Dental teaching institutions are faced with the unique challenge of protecting the student and patient populations against bloodborne infections. Educational efforts must go beyond mere teaching of universal precautions and should include the introduction of safer products and clinical procedures that can minimize the risks associated with the hands-on aspects of the students' learning process. (+info)
Investors in people: what is it all about?
Recently, there has been a proliferation of press releases from organizations recognized as Investors in People including the BDTA, the DPB, the BDA and many individual dental practices. Indeed, the number of dental practices recognized as Investors in People has more than doubled in the last six months. What is this sudden interest in Investors in People within the dental profession all about? This article is a guide to what the Investors in People (IiP) standard is, what relevance it has to dental practice and what benefits can be gained from working towards this standard. I have used my own experiences in gaining the standard in our dental practice to act as an example throughout the article. (+info)
The training plan.
A training plan needs to be a working document that helps ensure the appropriate training for everyone in the organization is carried out. (+info)
Blood mercury levels of dental students and dentists at a dental school.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the blood mercury levels in dental students and clinical teaching staff in a dental school using amalgam as a restorative material. SETTING: A dental school in Ege University, Turkey surveyed during one academic year. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Cross-sectional study of groups of dental students (n=92) in years I to V, clinical teachers in restorative dentistry (n=16) and controls (n=14). Mercury concentration was estimated in venous blood samples using a cold vapour atomic absorption method at the commencement and end of the academic year. Daily air mercury levels were determined in clinical and teaching areas by measuring the darkening of palladium chloride discs using spectrophotometry. RESULTS: There were statistically significant increases (p<0.001) in plasma mercury concentration between measurements in all groups at the end of the academic year. Red cell mercury levels were also consistently elevated. Although the highest levels of mercury were recorded in persons working with amalgam, increased levels were also found in subjects working in the teaching classrooms but not with amalgam (controls and first year students). CONCLUSION: Increased mercury levels appeared to be due to background exposure from spillage of mercury and amalgam residues on floors. Increased mercury hygiene and regular control of working atmosphere should be implemented to prevent mercury exposure in the dental pre-clinical laboratory. (+info)
The role of dentists in dentistry.
The extent to which dentists influence the outcomes of dental care, compared to the effects of dental technology or patient variation, has not been well studied. A review of the literature on the personality and value structures of dentists and dental students reveals general trends involving preferences of concrete, utilitarian, unambiguous, and conventional situations that are classified and judged in terms of their potential for dentists' power and control and for relationships of helping others but avoiding mutual dependency. These findings are summarized in a hypothesis that dentists seek situations where they can exercise control and establish paternalistic relationships with others. The evidence about career satisfaction of dentists is difficult to interpret. Between 20 percent and 50 percent of dentists report that they would not choose to enter the profession again if given a chance. Yet the number leaving the profession voluntarily is less than the number of career changers in the general population by a factor of about 1 to 15. Career satisfaction of practitioners can be partially predicted from an understanding of dentists' personality and values. Factors such as uncooperative patients, incompetent staff, and government and insurance intrusions are major dissatisfiers; they threaten dentists' core need for control. Factors such as quality of work, which is under the control of dentists, are major satisfiers. The personalities and values of dentists and the expression of these in professional norms may function to limit our understanding of dentistry. Based on this analysis, eight predictions are offered about the profession. (+info)