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Infection Control

FAQs: Are bead sterilizers an effective means of sterilization?

This information is adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website Bead sterilizers are not acceptable for sterilization of items between patients.

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FAQs: What should you do in case of exposure to bloodborne pathogens and aerosols?

This information is adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website What constitutes an occupational exposure in dentistry?

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How do you manage a severely disabled and G tube-fed patient?

This question was submitted by a general dentist: Is there a resource with current information on appropriate oral care for severely disabled and G tube-fed population? There are many position papers and guidelines indicating that this population needs care. However, I found only limited information on the actual clinical treatment provided to them and on what the treatment goals should be. These patients often present with gross calculus, limited cooperative ability for professional cleaning, and present with the risk of an aspiration pneumonia. Any attempt to clean the teeth in the office is limited at best, then the question is: what ...

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The “mobile microbiome”: journey beyond the mouth?

In this interview, Dr. Christopher McCulloch, Professor and Director of the Matrix Dynamics Group at the University of Toronto’s faculty of dentistry, presented his perspectives on a paper recently published in the Journal of Dental research (JDR) which reviews the latest contributions to dentistry’s understanding of the “oral health, total health” concept. JCDA: This JDR paper reviews the oral bacterial species that have been implicated in a variety of systemic infections and inflammation, such as atherosclerotic disease, adverse pregnancy outcomes, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer, respiratory tract infections, and other organ inflammation and abscesses. How strong is ...

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What should I do if a puncture injury occurs, resulting in bleeding?

This question was submitted by a general dentist: What should I do if a puncture injury occurs, resulting in bleeding? Dr. Nita Mazurat, representing the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention (OSAP) has provided this quick initial response All offices should have an Office Infection Control Manual with post-exposure protocol developed utilizing information from their Provincial Dental Association. Additionally, one person in the office should be designated to assist when occupational injuries occur.  When an injury involves exposure to a healthcare worker from a patient’s blood, or other high risk body fluids with visible blood, the dental worker must report the injury to the designated person ...

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What is the appropriate disinfection technique for impressions?

This question was submitted by a general dentist: What is the appropriate disinfection technique for impressions? Dr. Nita Mazurat, representing the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention (OSAP) has provided this quick initial response Cleaning and disinfecting impressions before pouring in stone is an important aspect of laboratory asepsis. Different materials require different handling techniques. In general, impressions should be rinsed under running water and/or gently scrubbed with a camel hair brush (i.e., artists brush, one-half inch bristle) and a liquid detergent under running water to remove bioburden. Scrubbing gently with dental stone sprinkled into the impression will remove stubborn materials. ...

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What is the role of hand sanitizers or alcohol rubs and can they be used instead of hand washing?

This question was submitted by a general dentist: What is the role of hand sanitizers or alcohol rubs and can they be used instead of hand washing? Dr. Nita Mazurat, representing the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention (OSAP) has provided this quick initial response Hand hygiene practice is only efficacious when there is compliance. The simple message is “practice good hand hygiene for every patient, every time!” As long as hands are not soiled, alcohol-based hand-rubs may be utilized for hand hygiene and can be used as an adjunct or an alternative to washing with soap and water. The key word is ...

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What is the best outerwear for our facility?

This question was submitted by a general dentist: What is the best outerwear for our facility? Dr. Nita Mazurat, representing the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention (OSAP) has provided this quick initial response There is a variety of outerwear utilized in Canadian dental offices. The rationale for this variety ranges from personal comfort (including body temperature control) to patient perception of the office personality (relaxed/professional/surgical). The type of outerwear will determine hand hygiene procedures. Many offices have adopted use of scrubs or short-sleeved shirts and tee-shirts. Bare arms will need to be washed to the sleeves level when aerosol production has ...

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