Skip to main content
Toggle Menu of ADA WebSites
ADA Websites
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
Last Updated: May 23, 2019

Prepared by:

Department of Scientific Information, Evidence Synthesis & Translation Research, ADA Science & Research Institute, LLC.


Content on the Oral Health Topics section of is for informational purposes only.  Content is neither intended to nor does it establish a standard of care or the official policy or position of the ADA; 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.