Year : 2013  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 51-58

Cross-contamination in dentistry: A comprehensive overview

Department of Prosthodontics, SDM College of Dental Sciences, Dharwad, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Sagar J Abichandani
Department of Prosthodontics, SDM College of Dental Sciences, Dhavalanagar, Sattur, Dharwad - 580 009, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5186.108807

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Introduction: Cross-contamination and cross-infection can occur by direct contact with micro-organisms, indirect contact with contaminated objects, droplet transmission, and inhalation of airborne pathogens. In dentistry, operatory surfaces can routinely become contaminated with patient saliva, blood, and other fluids during treatment. Aims and Objectives: This review is aimed to identify cross-contamination and spread of infection by various means and the appropriate preventive measures to be implemented. This review will also highlight the various aspects that are neglected in various dental schools/dental practice or any dental set up that potentiate cross-contamination ultimately affecting the dentist, dental team and the patients. Materials and Methods: A review of the dental literature concerning cross-contamination was performed. Material appearing in the literature before 1996 was reviewed as exhaustively as possible and materials after 1996 were reviewed electronically. In Medline, key words like cross-contamination, sterilization, asepsis, infection, infection control, prevention were used in various combinations to obtain a potential reference for review. A total of 2245 English Language titles were found, many were repeated due to recurring searches. The headings were shortlisted and reviewed for detailed examination. Results: A comprehensive review to evaluate the methods of preventing cross-contamination in dentistry involving various aspects and challenges encountered in a dental set up was constructed which was missing in the references of the review. Conclusions: Awareness and the necessary precautions play a pivotal role in preventing the occurrence of cross-contamination. It is the responsibility of the entire dental team to work in unison to prevent the menace of cross-contamination and spread of infection.

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