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Oral Health Topics

Tuberculosis

Key Points

  • Although the risk of transmission of tuberculosis in dental settings is low, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends dental health care personnel include protocols for tuberculosis infection control in their offices’ written infection control program.
  • Infection occurs through inhalation of mycobacteria, which then travel to the alveoli of the lungs; only people with active disease can spread the infection.
  • A person with latent tuberculosis is not infectious; he or she can be treated in the dental office under standard infection control precautions.
  • However, for a person with active tuberculosis, standard precautions are insufficient to prevent transmission of the bacterium.

  • Introduction
  • Tuberculosis
  • Infection Control/Precautions
  • Dental Patient Management
  • Dental Healthcare Workers and Skin Testing
  • Dental Office Risk Assessment and Training
  • References
  • ADA Resources
  • Other Resources
Prepared by: Center for Scientific Information, ADA Science Institute
Last Updated: December 12, 2016


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