Reducing the Risk of Infection During and After Dental Surgery

Learn how to reduce risk of infection during & after dental surgery with antimicrobial surgical hand scrub & other preventive measures.

Reducing the Risk of Infection During and After Dental Surgery

When it comes to surgical procedures, it is essential to take special care to avoid injury to the hands. To ensure safety, antimicrobial surgical hand scrub should be used. Additionally, metallic and thermosetting dental instruments must be routinely sterilized between use with pressurized steam (autoclave), dry heat, or chemical vapor. In order to control pain and anxiety during dental procedures, local anesthesia, general anesthesia, nitrous oxide, or intravenous sedation are commonly used. As a complement to the current biosafety protocol, an oral prophylactic protocol with PVP-I for dental health workers and patients could minimize the risk of transmission during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To control cross-infections during dental practice, preoperative mouthwashes including oxidizing agents have been suggested. It is also important for dental offices and laboratories to communicate regarding the handling and decontamination of supplies and materials. Serological markers of hepatitis B among dentists have increased in the United States, indicating that current infection control practices have not been sufficient to prevent the transmission of this infectious agent in the dental office. Dental staff can be exposed to a wide variety of microorganisms in the blood and saliva of patients they treat in the dental office. To reduce the risk of infection, carpeted floors or upholstered furniture should not be used in dental offices, laboratories, or instrument processing areas. To relieve pain or irritation caused by dentures or other dental appliances, such as braces, certain medications are used.

However, there is no documentation on the transmission of diseases transmitted by blood or saliva from patient to patient due to procedures performed in dental practice. Therefore, dental health care personnel (DHCP) should wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, gowns, masks and eye protection. If barriers are not used, equipment that has been in contact with the gloved hands of dental health personnel or with contaminated film packages should be cleaned and disinfected after each use by the patient. Dental health workers are also advised to consult with manufacturers about the stability of specific materials in relation to disinfection procedures.

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