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Scientists Warn About Increased Risk Of Dental Infections In Modern Dental Clinics

Dental InfectionsHealth care specialists and scientists around the world are reporting about increasing number of various infections and infectious diseases that people suffer from, including such serious conditions as HIV, hepatitis, neurogenerative disorders like Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and many others. This negative tendency, unfortunately, has been reported in dental care industry as well, and for a growing number of people visiting dental clinics or dental care cabinets ends up with being infected by one or another type of bacteria. A group of scientists and experts by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) shouldered a role of inspection commission and visited over 1660 dental practices, looking closely at the issues of hygiene and infection control. Special attention was paid to controlling how dentists clean their surgical and other equipment.

It turned out that 190 dental care services out of 1660 (meaning almost every one of nine) did not observe common instructions by Department of Health provided to every dental care office as an official tools and instrument cleaning standards. Therefore, about 10 per cent of today’s dental care offices and services are failing to observe the instructions on cleanness and provide the customers with effective protection against dental infections. There are plenty of important rules and guidelines specified by the Department of Health. In particular, in order to reduce risk of dental infections, all the tools and instruments for dental services should be disinfected and prepared in special separated rooms. Such instruments should be scrubbed in one sink, then rinsed and cleaned in another one. All small parts of the equipment should be inspected under a microscope prior being used in a new procedure, and every single piece of the equipment should be processed through an autoclave steam cleaner, UV device, or other disinfecting devices.

Besides, some certain tools or instruments can not be cleaned and reused again for other dental care patients, so they should be thrown away. Those instruments or parts which are used not too often should be stored in special places and labeled properly with the date they were used and cleaned for the last time. Unfortunately, according to the findings published by the inspecting commission, a great number of dental clinics not only fail to observe these guidelines, but are not aware about certain facts and the importance of cleaning dental care devices and tools. In particular, specialists of one clinic in London failed to demonstrate understanding the difference between a single-use tool and re-usable tools. In another dental practice, the inspectors found out-of-date medicines and opened intravenous needle sets stored in the same fridge with the lunches of the clinic personnel.

Many dental clinics and cabinets were found to use improperly cleaned and poorly sterilized instruments, some failed to control the effectiveness of their sterilizing methods, some explained their lack of cleanness by the fact that disinfection and sterilization procedures take too much time. In a few clinics, the inspectors found out that some dentists did not even bother to wash their hands when they start their working hours. The experts made a conclusion that a large number of people who visit dental practices are at increased risk of dental infections and other types of infections as well. The existing attitude and standards in dental establishments should be immediately corrected! “We have also delivered additional training and checking mechanisms since the report was published to ensure we maintain the highest standards for all our patients,” the spokesman for the Care Quality Commission said.

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