Skip to main content
Toggle Menu of ADA WebSites
ADA Websites
Partnerships and Commissions
Toggle Search Area
Toggle Menu
e-mail Print Share
Oral Health Topics


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


Content on is for informational purposes only, is neither intended to and does not establish a standard of care, and is not a substitute for professional judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. ADA is not responsible for information on external websites linked to this website.