Back in July, 2014, I discussed a case in Pennsylvania where dental patients where made aware of possible HIV and hepatitis exposure due to infection control lapses by a dentist. This led to a 74 year old dentist having his license suspended. A video interview of several students who were treated by the dentist said that sometimes the dentist didn’t wear gloves and didn’t wash his hands between patients. See the blog post located over at http://blog.teethremoval.com/dental-patients-warned-of-possible-hiv-and-hepatitis-exposure-in-pennsylvania/.
An additional case of infection control lapses has also occurred in Pennsylvania. The dentist had his license temporarily suspended due to an investigation by Pennsylvania’s department of health. A press release issued said the dentist “…did not follow appropriate procedures to properly clean, disinfect, or sterilize dental tools used at his…office.”
The investigation showed the dentist admitted that he and his staff do not send out samples for biological spore testing which to make sure that sterilization is occuring. Furthermore it is not clear when the dental instruments were last sterilized including metal impression trays and dental tools.
As such the health officials have encouraged former and current patients of the practice to get tested for potential hepatitis and HIV. A few of the patients are of course shocked and surprised as they felt they could trust their dentist.
In past blog posts, other cases have been described where dentists or oral surgeons were suspected of potentially not following proper infection control procedures. See 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.
For more information on the dentist in question in Pennsylvania see article titled Dentist’s License Temporarily Suspended located over at http://wnep.com/2014/06/27/dentists-license-temporarily-suspended/ and written by Nikki Kraze on June 27, 2014.