Contaminated dental instruments

Smith, A.J., Dickson, M., Aitken, J. and Bagg, J. (2002) Contaminated dental instruments. Journal of Hospital Infection, 51(3), 233 -235. (doi:10.1053/jhin.2002.1213)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/jhin.2002.1213

Abstract

There is current concern in the UK over the possible transmission of prions via contaminated surgical instruments. Some dental instruments (endodontic files) raise particular concerns by virtue of their intimate contact with terminal branches of the trigeminal nerve. A visual assessment using a dissecting light microscope and scanning electron microscopy of endodontic files after clinical use and subsequent decontamination was performed. The instruments examined were collected from general dental practices and from a dental hospital. Seventy-six per cent (22/29) of the files retrieved from general dental practices remained visibly contaminated, compared with 14% (5/37) from the dental hospital. Current methods for decontaminating endodontic instruments used in dentistry may be of an insufficient standard to completely remove biological material. Improved cleaning methods and the feasibility of single use endodontic instruments require further investigation.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dickson, Dr Michael and Bagg, Professor Jeremy
Authors: Smith, A.J., Dickson, M., Aitken, J., and Bagg, J.
Subjects:R Medicine > RK Dentistry
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Dental School
Journal Name:Journal of Hospital Infection
ISSN:0195-6701

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