Infection control is a central concept to every practice of health care providers. Its main objective is to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases from both patients and health personnel (Martin et al., 2010). In dental clinic, infection control is a continuous concern for its professionals. They have to contact patients routinely and be exposed to their blood, saliva, dental plaque and pus that may contain infectious pathogens. It is important for the dental professionals to treat these fluids as if they are infectious and special precautions must be taken to handle them. In this essay, I will highlight the scope of infection control practices in dental clinics and the ways through which infectious microorganisms are transmitted in the dental clinic. Also, I will talk about some infection control guidelines implemented in dental clinics and how they meet the needs of the patients. Finally, from a personal perspective, I will mention some factors that affect the implantation of infection control guidelines and procedures.
The scope of the problem:
Due to their direct contact with patients, personnel of health care teams are exposed to a higher risk of contracting diseases. Specifically, this risk becomes more potential for dental professional teams if we know that most of the human microbial pathogens are isolated from oral secretions. They can cause serious diseases that might transmit from patients to the personnel, and vice versa (Bednarsh & Molinri, 2010). In 1970 and the early 1980s, result showed the tendency among dental professionals to have more certain infectious diseases than the general public due to their exposure to blood and saliva of their patients (Bednarsh & Molinri, 2010). Disease, such as hepatitis B & C, herpes, tuberculosis, influenza, some dermatological bacteria, were the most common infectious diseases among dental professionals.
Modes of infection:
There are four ways through which infectious diseases in dental clinics may be transmitted from patients to dental professionals (Szymanska, 2005). Infectious diseases might be contracted directly from the patients to dentists, hygienists or dental assistants through blood-borne bacteria and saliva. The contamination might happen from a needle stick, other accidental injuries of sharp instruments, or through an aerosol of blood, saliva or gingival secretions. Also, they might be contracted indirectly through transfer of microorganisms from a contaminated object in the clinic (Bednarsh & Molinri, 2010). Also, the contamination might occur as a result of spatter of blood, saliva, or nasopharyngeal secretions directly onto broken or intact skin. The fourth way is through aerosolization which means the transmission of infectious microorganisms in the air of the dental clinic (Rautemaa et al., 2006).
Blood and saliva borne bacteria are mainly the reason for some serious infectious diseases (Szymanska, 2005, Martin et al., 2009). For example, Hepatitis B virus...