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Monarca S., Grottolo M., Feretti D., Gigola P., Zerbini I., Alberti A., Zani C., Sapelli P. L.
Background. Bacterial contamination in dental offices plays a primary role in the evaluation of infective risks for patients and dental personnel.
The aim of the research was to study bacterial contamination in eight Italian dental offices by investigating the water of dental units, the air and certain surfaces (push-button panel and instrument cabinet) in order to evaluate potential risks in dental practices.
Methods. The water underwent a microbiological test as specified by Italian law (DPR 236/88). The water was sampled from the hoses and air/water syringes of twenty dental units. The microbiological analysis of the air was performed using sedimentation plates to evaluate microbial fall-out. The microbiological analysis of the surfaces was performed using membrane filters to evaluate microbial accumulation.
Results. The research showed bacteriological contamination of the dental unit water in all the dental offices. During the working activity total bacteriological counts in the air fall-out were fairly high and the surfaces examined showed some widespread bacterial contamination in dental practices. The results of this study show the importance of routine monitoring of microbial contamination of dental offices and, in case of contamination, the need to apply disinfection treatments for the waterlines and preventive measures for the aerosol reduction.
Conclusions. Our research was used to work out a program for the prevention of environmental contamination in dental offices.