Infection control is one of the most important debatable topics in dentistry that is related to the health of dentists in Canada, assistants and patients. An infection occurs when a microorganism enters the body, replaces it in a suitable place and starts multiplying. Due to its special biological conditions, the oral cavity is a suitable medium for the growth of various types of microorganisms.
The goal of the infection control program in dentistry is to prevent the transmission of infection from one person to another. This work includes preventing the transmission of cross infection from one patient to another patient, from dental professionals to the patient or vice versa.
Transmission of infection in dentistry happens in the following ways:
The most common way; direct contact with the patient’s blood, saliva and oral secretions. If the dentist’s hand or the appropriate gloves are not used, the entry way for the assistant will have scratches or cuts and microorganisms will be provided.
Splashing of contaminated drops in the mouth, nose or conjunctiva of the eyes is another way of transferring contamination to the dental team. Inhalation of particles suspended in the air due to blood seepage and oral secretions, which are microbial and potentially infectious particles that cannot be seen, are also included in this category.
Indirect contact; Contact with contaminated tools and equipment occurs when the dentist or assistant touches the contaminated surface or comes into contact with contaminated sharps.
This transmission happens when the dentist’s or assistant’s hand has a contagious skin lesion, or the dentist’s hand is cut during work and blood spills into the patient’s mouth, or the dentist touches the patient’s scratched mucous membrane.
The transfer of cold from the dentist to the patient is one of the cases that occurs due to sneezing and spreading of suspended particles.
This transmission is more likely in the field of medical work when the contaminated equipment of one patient is used for another patient.
There are different ways for this type of transfer, for example, sending the contaminated mold to the dental laboratory or sending the contaminated handpieces for repair, it is also possible for the dental staff to be infected with clothes or products.