Infection Control Lapse in Hawaii at VA Dental Clinic

The U.S. department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has said that 20 patients treated on May 23 and May 27 in Hawaii may have been exposed to viruses due to instruments that were not sterilized. The dental instruments used were believed to be clean, but the VA monitors said they were not sterilized. Only a single load of dental equipment, which was typically sent from one medical center with a dental clinic to a different medical center for sterilization was not performed. It is believed that the risk of contracting anything like HIV or hepatitis is low but patients at risk are recommend to be tested for viruses. The source of the story is over at khon2 titled Veterans Affairs apologizes to dental patients for unsterilized instruments written by Nestor Garcia on June 27, 2014, and located over at  http://khon2.com/2014/06/27/veterans-affairs-apologizes-to-dental-patients-for-unsterilized-instruments/. Staff … Read more

More Dental Patients Warned of Potential HIV and Hepatitis Exposure in Pennsylvania

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 … Read more

Propofol-Remifentanil Versus Propofol-Ketamine for Third Molar Surgery

A study titled “Comparison of Propofol-Remifentanil Versus Propofol-Ketamine Deep Sedation for Third Molar Surgery” appears in the 2012 Anesthesia Progress journal. The authors of the study set out to better determine what anesthetic to provide during third molar (aka wisdom teeth) surgery. In the study, two drug combinations for use as deep sedation during oral surgery were evaluated. Patients in a control group received a continuous intravenous infusion of propofol-remifentanil,  and patients in an experimental group received a continuous intravenous infusion of propofol-ketamine. This study was double blind in that neither patients nor surgeons were aware of which treatment was given. In this study, 37 patients  were monitored while sedated for respiratory, heart rate, and blood pressure stability. Emergence from the effects of anesthesia and total recovery time were recorded. In addition, patients and surgeons were both asked to rate … Read more

How to Prepare for a Visit to the Dentist

If you have had a bad experience at the dentist in previous years, being afraid that your next visit will cause discomfort or bring up bad memories is quite common. Perhaps you have never been afraid of the dentist but if a new treatment is the plan this can also cause mild anxiety. There are hundreds of reasons that patients fear visits to the dentist but there are also many ways to counteract the feeling of dread. Many people fear visits to the dentist but if visits of this nature cause you anxiety, here are four tips to help you overcome your fear. Talk to your Dentist If you are scared of booking a dental appointment, speak to your dentist about it. If your dentist is aware of the problem, they will walk you through the treatment and put you … Read more

Dental Cleanings May Reduce Stroke and Heart Attack Risk

A study in Taiwan looked at those who have had professional tooth scraping and cleaning performed and found that they had reduced risks of stroke and heart attack. The study showed that more frequent scraping/cleaning was associated with more reduced risk compared to never having teeth cleaned/scraped or occasionally having it performed. The study looked at over 100,000 people and found that if either a dentist or dental hygienist scraped and cleaned teeth those people in that group had a 24% lower risk of a heart attack and a 13% lower risk of a stroke when compared to those who never had a dental cleaning performed. The people in the study were followed for an average of 7 years. The study was conducted using data from the Taiwan National Health insurance data base. One of the researchers was Emily (Zu-Yin) … Read more