e-mail Print Share

CDC issues summary of infection control guidelines

March 29, 2016

By Michelle Manchir

Dentists can access resources designed to help them follow infection prevention guidelines thanks to new materials released March 29 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    
The guide, "Summary of Infection Prevention Practices for Dental Settings: Basic Expectations for Safe Care," includes 2003 CDC infection control recommendations for dentists and other recommendations published in CDC guidance documents since then. It also includes a first-of-its-kind comprehensive checklist to evaluate administrative policies and clinical infection prevention practices, the CDC said in a statement.
    
"Compliance with Standard Precautions is critical for preventing transmission of infectious organisms in dental settings," the CDC said in a statement announcing the new summary. "We hope that these tools and additional resources will be of value to all dental health care personnel in all types of dental settings to ensure adherence to administrative and clinical infection prevention recommendations."
    
The ADA urges all practicing dentists, dental auxiliaries and dental laboratories to employ appropriate infection control procedures as described in the 2003 CDC Guidelines, and to keep up-to-date as scientific information leads to improvements in infection control, risk assessment and disease management in oral health care.
    
Dr. Elliot Abt, chair of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, lauded the CDC resources. "This new checklist may help streamline the process of infection control in a dental practice," he said.
    
The CDC calls the materials a "comprehensive, user friendly resource" that "can help dental health care personnel maintain proper infection prevention practices."
    
The resources include a summary of basic infection prevention principles and recommendations, with emphasis on the importance of having one person in every dental office assigned as the infection prevention coordinator; and references and resources for areas of focus including sterilization, safe injection practices and hand hygiene.
    
The CDC guide is online here. The Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention has created tools and resources meant to help dental teams understand the guidelines and new summary. These are available at OSAP.org.  The ADA has compiled a list of infection control resources, available at ADA.org.
    
The ADA Practical Guide to Effective Infection Control is another tool to help train dental staff in sound infection control practices. This DVD and workbook (P692) are available at a reduced rate for members at ADAcatalog.org or 800-947-4746. Readers can save 15 percent by using promo code 16115 by May 31.