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Continuing investigation and controversy regarding risk of transmission of infection via dental handpieces.

Author: Epstein JB; Rea G; Sherlock CH; Mathias RG;
Source: J Can Dent Assoc Date of Pub: 1996 Jun
Issue: 6 Volume: 62 Pagination: 485-91

Current epidemiologic evidence indicates that infectious diseases, specifically blood-borne pathogens such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, are not transmitted from patient to patient via dental instruments. However, ongoing laboratory investigations suggest that potential pathogens may be retained within dental handpieces, creating a theoretical risk of cross infection. Controversy regarding certain laboratory study results and the clinical implications of these studies continues. Guidelines and regulations for infection control should be rational, and based on a realistic response to a documented risk. Dental professionals should be aware of continuing research focusing on these issues.

Abstract By: Author
Address: Department of Dentistry, Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre, B.C., Canada.

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