- Continuing Education
A Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Settings: Basic Expectations for Safe Care was published by the CDC in 2016. This guide is based on elements of Standard Precautions and represents a summary of basic infection prevention expectations for safe care in oral healthcare setting as recommended in the Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Setting – 2003.2,4However, this document includes an Infection Prevention Checklist for Dental Settings (Appendix A). The Infection Prevention Checklist, Section I: Policies and Practices provides a tool to monitor and document institutional compliance with issues related to Personal Protective Equipment Safety (Section I.6). In addition, Section II.2 of the checklist provides a tool to document the correct use of PPE by direct observation of personnel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guidance for Dental Settings: Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response5is a dynamic document addressing the Transmission-Based Precautions necessary to provide safe dental care to the patient infected or potentially infected with SARS-Co-V-2.
Wearing PPE is an important component of Standard and Transmission-based Precautions. PPE should not permit blood or OPIM to pass through it and reach street clothes, undergarments, skin or mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth. Surgical gowns should protect the wrists, forearms, and torso from neck to knees. Masks and goggles should protect the mouth, nose and eyes. Face shields should provide protection to other parts of the face. Task-specific gloves should protect the hands. However, wearing gloves does not eliminate the need for hand hygiene. It is further mandated that an Infection Prevention Checklist be used to document institutional compliance with issues related to PPE and that personnel compliance with the proper use of PPE be documented by direct observation.