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Minerva Stomatologica 2017 October;66(5):232-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4970.17.04087-0

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

How to manage the biological risk in a dental clinic: current and future perspectives

Matteo SACCUCCI 1 , Gaetano IERARDO 1, Carmela PROTANO 2, Matteo VITALI 2, Antonella POLIMENI 1

1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy; 2 Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy


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Dental personnel (DP) may be exposed to pathogens during dental treatment, either through contact contaminated equipment, or with blood and respiratory secretion. On the other hand, health care professionals are constantly exposed to pathogens and opportunists in their work environment. Consequently, the dental healthcare environment is connected with the risk of exposure to biological agents both for patients and dental workers, and involves a wide number of microorganisms that can be present in biological matrices (gingival fluids, saliva, blood), contaminated and/or non-sanitized surfaces, water used in the dental unit, or emitted by patients suffering or carrier of a transmissible disease. The main determinants of exposure to biological agents in dentistry are related, therefore, to several factors, such as the lack in the application of disinfection/sterilization procedures for surfaces, reusable tools, water, etc.; the lack in the use of protective equipment by workers; an insufficient or inefficient training of personnel; the use of non-targeted, too diluted, or expired biocides. Therefore, each single patient needs to be treated as a potential communicable infectious disease carrier and each case must receive high level of attention in compliance with preventive and hygiene standards, following disinfection and sterilization procedures, and always wearing personal protective equipment. The goal of this article was to discuss on the infection risks related to dental practice both for patients and workers, and to evaluate the state of the art and future perspectives, with particular attention to disinfection procedures, for occupational biological hazards and HAIs prevention in this setting.


KEY WORDS: Dentistry - Cross infection - Risk

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