Management of infection control in dental practice

Smith, A., Creanor, S., Hurrell, D., Bagg, J. and McCowan, M. (2009) Management of infection control in dental practice. Journal of Hospital Infection, 71(4), pp. 353-358. (doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2008.11.026)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


This was an observational study in which the management policies and procedures associated with infection control and instrument decontamination were examined in 179 dental surgeries by a team of trained surveyors. Information relating to the management of a wide range of infection control procedures, in particular the decontamination of dental instruments, was collected by interview and by examination of practice documentation. This study found that although the majority of surgeries (70%) claimed to have a management policy on infection control, only 50% of these were documented. For infection control policies, 79% of surgeries had access to the British Dental Association Advice Sheet A12. Infection control policies were claimed to be present in 89% of surgeries, of which 62% were documented. Seventy-seven per cent of staff claimed to have received specific infection control training, but for instrument decontamination this was provided mainly by demonstration (97%) or observed practice (88%). Many dental nurses (74%) and dental practitioners (57%) did not recognise the symbol used to designate a single-use device. Audit of infection control or decontamination activities was undertaken in 11% of surgeries. The majority of surgeries have policies and procedures for the management of infection control in dental practice, but in many instances these are not documented. The training of staff in infection control and its documentation is poorly managed and consideration should be given to development of quality management systems for use in dental practice.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bagg, Professor Jeremy and Smith, Professor Andrew
Authors: Smith, A., Creanor, S., Hurrell, D., Bagg, J., and McCowan, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Dental School
Journal Name:Journal of Hospital Infection
Journal Abbr.:J Hosp Infect.
Publisher:W.B. Saunders Co. Ltd.
ISSN (Online):1532-2939
Published Online:17 May 2009
Related URLs:

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record