Dental Patients Warned of Possible HIV and Hepatitis Exposure in Pennsylvania

Recently, patients of a long time dentist in Pennsylvania have been warned of possible exposure to HIV and hepatitis B and C. The dental license of the 74 year old dentist has been suspended as state officials investigate. It is suspected that he was not properly sterilizing his instruments. No reports of disease or transmission have occurred.

The dentist is a long time dentist of a school district. In an interview with one of the school’s students who was examined by the dentist and her mother, it was stated the dentist didn’t have gloves on when treating patients and didn’t wash his hands between patients. The full interview can be seen over at provided by NBC News.

In the past, other cases have occurred where dentists or oral surgeons have been suspected of not following proper procedures to avoid spreading disease. For example see the post Dental Patients Warned of Possible HIV and Hepatitis Exposure Due to Oral Surgeon’s Practices and the post Oral Surgeon Investigated for Reusing Needles and Syringes. In the first post an oral surgeon in Oklahoma potentially used rusty instruments and lax sterilization procedures potentially exposing around 7,000 patients to HIV and hepatitis. In the second post, an oral surgeon was found to re-use needles and syringes between patients to give intravenous medications.

Those patients who have seen a dentist or oral surgeon who potentially used lax sterilization procedures or failed to follow proper procedures to reduce potential disease transmission, should be tested and checked for HIV and hepatitis.

Source: Eric Scicchitano. License of Shamokin dentist suspended. June 14, 2014.

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