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Although the principles of infection control remain unchanged, new technologies, materials, equipment, and data require continuous evaluation of current infection-control practices. The unique nature of many dental procedures, instrumentation, and patient-care settings also may require specific strategies directed to preventing the transmission of pathogens among dental healthcare workers and their patients. Recommended infection control practices are applicable to all settings in which dental treatment is provided.

More Information on Infection Control

Featured Items

Safe Injection Practices in Dentistry
Safe injection practices are a set of measures clinicians should follow to perform injections in an optimally safe manner for patients, health care personnel, and others. CDC reminds dental practitioners of the safe injection practices that are critical for patient safety.

Prevention of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Transmission in Dental Health Care Settings*
In health care settings, MRSA most often is spread indirectly from patient to patient on the transiently contaminated hands of health care professionals. Standard Precautions has been shown to be an effective strategy in preventing transmission. Learn more at CDC’s About MRSA Skin Infections.

Prevention of 2009 H1N1 Influenza Transmission in Dental Health Care Settings (11/23/09)
CDC provides updated guidance on preventing 2009 H1N1 influenza transmission in dental health care settings. Guidance includes new recommendations on using airborne infection isolation rooms, N95 respirators, and infection control measures for personnel with influenza-like illness. 

Tuberculosis Infection Control Recommendations
The changing epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB) and discovery of new diagnostic methods prompted a revision of CDC's guidelines to prevent TB transmission in healthcare settings. View CDC’s TB infection control recommendations for dental settings* and learn how they should be incorporated into an infection control program. Related link: Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Health-Care Settings, 2005.

Patient-to-patient Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus Associated with Oral Surgery
The Journal of Infectious Diseases describes the first documented case of patient-to-patient hepatitis B virus transmission in a dental office.

Educational Materials

Slide Presentation for Infection Control Guidelines
This slide set and accompanying speaker notes provide an overview of many of the basic principles of infection control in the CDC Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings. It can be downloaded as a PowerPoint presentation or viewed on the Web site.

If Saliva Were Red: A Visual Lesson on Infection Control*
The video training system, If Saliva Were Red, features an 8-minute video (VHS, CD-ROM) that uses dental professionals to highlight common infection control and safety flaws; the cross contamination dental workers would see if saliva were red; and how controlling contamination by using personal barrier protection, safe work practices, and effective infection control products reduces the risk of exposure.

From Policy to Practice: OSAP's Guide to the Guidelines*
The Organization for Safety & Asepsis Procedures (OSAP) has produced this 170-page workbook, which contains practical information to help health care professionals put the infection control recommendations into practice. These resources were produced by OSAP through a CDC cooperative agreement.

Related Links

* Links to non-Federal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. Links do not constitute an endorsement of any organization by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. The CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at this link.

Page last reviewed: August 31, 2012
Page last modified: August 31, 2012
Content source: Division of Oral Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

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