Acquiring Hepatitis B at the Oral Surgery Office

In late 2019 on this site, a post titled Acquiring Hepatitis C at the Oral Surgery Office described how it is possible to acquire Hepatitis C while having oral surgery. In that post, a case that occurred in Oklahoma in 2012 was described. Prior to that case, there was a case in 2001, where a patient acquired Hepatitis B virus (HBV) at an oral surgery office. This is described in the article published in 2007, titled “Patient-to-Patient Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus Associated with Oral Surgery,” written by J. T. Redd et al., appearing in The Journal of Infectious Diseases (no. 195, pp. 1311–1314). In the article, the authors, at the time, describe the first documented (via medical literature) description of a case of patient-to patient transmission of a blood-borne pathogen in the U.S. occurring in a dental setting. In … Read more

Recent cases of infection control lapses in dentistry

In the past on this site cases of possible and confirmed infection control lapses have been discussed. See the posts Infection Control Lapse in Hawaii at VA Dental Clinic, More Dental Patients Warned of Potential HIV and Hepatitis Exposure in Pennsylvania, and Acquiring Hepatitis C at the Oral Surgery Office. Such lapses can potentially result in acquired infections such as HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C along with respiratory infections or the flu. Recently in late 2019, two separate reported potential cases of infection control lapse have occurred. The first case occurred in Oregon where a dental clinic admitted to using improperly sterilized instruments in November for six patients. The health care provider who manages the dental clinic sent out confidential letters to the six patients informing them of the incident and offering to pay for blood tests for them … Read more

Acquiring Hepatitis C at the Oral Surgery Office

One of the complications that can occur from wisdom teeth removal is to have an acquired infection. A particularly devastating infection that can be acquired is hepatitis C. There is one known case of a person acquiring hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV while at an oral surgery office which occurred in the fall of 2012 in Oklahoma. The patient received implants and also had a tooth removed in preparation. This case was covered at the time on this blog in the post Dental Patients Warned of Possible HIV and Hepatitis Exposure Due to Oral Surgeon’s Practices and in the media at the time such as in the article 7,000 patients warned of possible hepatitis, HIV exposure by Donna Domino appearing on DrBicuspid.com on March 29, 2013. After time was given for facts to come out, an article titled “Confirmed Transmission … Read more

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

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 http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nbc-news-channel/dirty-dentist-has-town-clenching-its-teeth-282301507827 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 … Read more