In addition to vaccination, CDC considers engineering controls to be the healthcare professional's primary means of preventing or reducing exposure to blood and body fluids. Engineering controls rely on the device's technology (rather than the user's technique) to reduce the potential for injuries that could result in disease transmission. Instrument cassettes, which minimize handling of contaminated instruments during processing, are an example of an engineering control. Automated instrument cleaners are another.
Where engineering controls are not available or appropriate, work-practice controls and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) become even more important in preventing exposure to blood and body fluids. Always perform tasks in the safest way possible. Passing instruments with sharp ends pointed away from all bodies and using a one-handed "scoop" technique to recap needles between injections are examples of work practice controls. Furthermore, dental team members should always use task-appropriate gloves, face protection, eye protection, and protective apparel to provide a physical barrier between themselves and the patient.
Dental practices should develop a written infection-control program to prevent or reduce the risk of disease transmission. The program should outline the policies, procedures, practices, technologies, and products used to prevent occupational injuries and illnesses among dental team members as well as healthcare-associated infections among patients.