This article serves to provide you information relating to Infection Risks that may occur within dental practices overseas. It is important to consider the information below when you are traveling abroad, especially to countries where clinics pay little attention to hygiene in their dental practices and does not properly follow SOP international standards.
Infection prevention in dentistry is an important topic that has gained more interest in recent years and guidelines for the prevention of cross-transmission are common practice in many countries. However, little is known about the real risks of cross-transmission, specifically in the dental healthcare setting. This paper evaluated the literature to determine the risk of cross-transmission and infection of viruses and bacteria that are of particular relevance in the dental practice environment. Facts from the literature on HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) , VZV (Varicella Zoster Virus), HIV, Hepatitis B, C and D viruses, Mycobacterium spp., Pseudomonas spp., Legionella spp. and multi-resistant bacteria are presented. There is evidence that Hepatitis B virus is a real threat for cross-infection in dentistry. Data for the transmission of, and infection with, other viruses or bacteria in dental practice are scarce. However, a number of cases are probably not acknowledged by patients, healthcare workers and authorities. Furthermore, cross-transmission in dentistry is under-reported in the literature. For the above reasons, the real risks of cross-transmission are likely to be higher. There is therefore a need for prospective longitudinal research in this area, to determine the real risks of cross-infection in dentistry. This will assist the adoption of effective hygiene procedures in dental practice.
The oral cavity is a natural habitat for a large number of microorganisms. This ecological niche can be a reservoir for opportunistic and pathogenic microorganisms that can pose a risk for cross-contamination and infection and may even cause systemic infections. This is of particular importance in the case of routine dental practice, as the risk of exposure to microorganisms in the oral cavity is increased due to the open and invasive nature of the procedures.
It is important to consider that the pathways of contamination can be bidirectional. An infectious microorganism may be transferred from the patient to members of the dental team, but also vice versa, e.g. through the hands of the dental team. Moreover, another infectious association is the transfer of pathogens from patient to patient, without the mediation of the dental staff, but rather through a surface located in the dental practice, or a device or instrument used during dental procedures. This can apply in the case of inadequate sterilization of the dental instruments or disinfection of the dental unit. The possibility also exists that pathogens present in dental unit waterlines (DUWLs) could be spread by aerosols created by dental hand-pieces, presenting a risk for both the patient and members of the dental team.
There are a number of possible means by which transmission of viral and bacterial pathogens can occur in the dental practice. The patient’s own saliva and blood are major vectors of cross-transmission. Blood-borne contamination can occur by exposure to the infectious material through non-intact skin and mucosal lesions. The highest infectious risk of this type is associated with accidental punctures by contaminated needles or injuries by sharp instruments. Insufficient cross-contamination control, such as improperly sterilized dental instruments, is also a possible device-borne means of pathogen transmission. Emanation of the pathogens through the spray of the hand-pieces of the dental unit can also be considered an air-borne or water-borne means of transmission, which may affect both the patient and the dental team. Air-borne infections can also occur via an inefficient ventilation system in the dental practice environment, whereby contaminated air may be withheld or recycled. Overall, the risk of any such transmission depends on the dose of the pathogens transmitted, the virulence of the pathogen, as well as the frequency or probability of exposure to the infectious material and the state of the host immune responses.
Therefore very important, the dental room and dental equipment used are always in good condition and free from anything that can spread disease transmission and also it can be helped by patient’s honesty to provide information about his/her general health
With D2C Dental Care Bali you can be assured that our clinic and practices have considered all of the above and is ready to treat international patients who are in Bali or who are about to have their holiday in Bali. Contact us for more information.