Dental procedures involve exposure to body fluids like Saliva and in some cases Blood, so in a Dental Clinic, the Dentist, Dental Hygienist, Dental Assistant etc are prone to be exposed to Infections Transmitted in Dentistry. The mode of transmission can be through Air, Inoculation and through Cross Infection. It is important to maintain proper Hygiene in Dental Clinic and also protect yourself from any transmission of the below mentioned infections.
Diseases transmitted through Air can be due to Inhalation of the aerosols which are spread into the air through water molecules and can lead to infection in Dentists and Dental staff when they inhale the aerosols. In case of diseases transmitted through Inoculation which means introduction of the infection into the body through skin or other paths.
Aerosol spray on using an Aerotor hand piece
Diseases Transmitted by Inhalation in Dentistry:
- Varicella Zoster Virus: Chicken Pox
- Paramyxovirus: Measles and Mumps
- Mycobacterium: Tuberculosis
- Rubella: German Measles
- Candida species: Candidosis
Diseases Transmitted by Inoculation in Dentistry:
- Herpes Simplex I: Oral Herpes, herpetic whitlow
- Herpes Simplex II: Genital herpes
- HIV: AIDS, ARC
- Staphylococcus Aureus or Albus: Wound Abscess
- Neisseria gonorrhoeae: Gonorrhoeae
- Treponema pallidum: Syphilis
Diseases Transmitted by Cross Infection in Dentistry:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Staphylococcus Aureus
- Varicella or Chicken Pox
In case of a cross infection the infected Dental Staff should be restricted from coming in contact wit patient, handling any surgical equipment, do not perform any surgical procedures which are prone to exposure. Evaluate whether the infection is high risk or low risk and based on that the precautions can be taken. It is very important to achieve proper infection control and also to maintain Proper Hand Hygiene to prevent any spread of infections through Air or Inoculation or Cross Infection.
Personal Barrier protection or having Personal protective equipment (PPE) is important to protect ourselves from any spread of infection. These are standard precautions needed to protect the skin and mucous membranes of Dental Staff from exposure to infectious or potentially infectious materials. The equipment which comes under PPE are Gloves, Face mask, protective eye wear, Drapes, Head caps etc.