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Online ISSN 1827-174X
Galli M. G., Tesauro M., Consonni M.
Background. Aim of this investigation is to identify possible sanitary risks connected with the practice of dentistry and to draw up guide-lines which may help all those who work in this field.
Methods. Between April and July 1998, we distributed 231 questionnaires to public and private dental offices in Milan, to evaluate dentists' knowledge of sanitary risks in their practices. One hundred and sixteen of the 231 distributed questionnaires were returned. All the dentists contacted, used protective measures such as gloves, masks, glasses, and high-speed aspirators.
Results. Survey responses indicated that the most readily transmittable infectious diseases in dentist's practices are, in order of importance, hepatitis, AIDS, airborne diseases, and herpes. Surgery, endodontics, and the use of sharp instruments most likely lead to transmission of pathogens in both patients and dentists. Dentist's knowledge of out-patient treatment is good whereas their knowledge of the use of disinfectants for dental equipment is poor.
Conclusions. The latter suggests the utility of continuing education in this critical aspect of the practice of dentistry.