Bringing Rapid HIV Testing to Dentistry

An interesting study has been performed by the University of Sydney in 2014, looking at the possibility of using rapid HIV testing before dental surgery. The study assessed 521 Sydney based dental patients and their willingness to undergo rapid HIV testing in dental settings, their preference for HIV testing type, and their willingness to pay for the HIV test. More than 80% of the patients in the study were found to be willing to undergo rapid HIV testing before a dental procedure. The technology behind a rapid HIV test has been around for more than a decade but it not currently available in dental settings. The test can be done as a finger prick or a saliva swab. The results of the HIV test can be determined within 20 minutes. The Australian Federal government announced in July 2014, that they … 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

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

Familarize Yourself with the ADA’s Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct

The American Dental Association also know as the ADA, in 2012, update their Principle of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct document. It is available over at http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/About%20the%20ADA/Files/code_of_ethics_2012.ashx. As many Americans make trips to the dentist, it is useful to familiarize yourself with the ADA’s document to better determine if your dentist is being ethical and serving your needs well. If you don’t feel this is the case you have options to report your dentist and of course you can find a new dentist. Additional comments on the ethics and professional conduct of the ADA and it’s members is over at http://www.ada.org/en/about-the-ada/principles-of-ethics-code-of-professional-conduct. It states “The dental profession holds a special position of trust within society. As a consequence, society affords the profession certain privileges that are not available to members of the public-at-large. In return, the profession makes a commitment … 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