Elimination of cross contamination and infection in dentistry is important for overall patient and operator safety. Over the years, the field of infection control has experienced significant changes. There were no universal standards for infection control in dentistry until the nineteenth century. In 1985, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published specific recommendations for dentists, and in 1991, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor published the Blood-Borne Pathogens Standards that applied to the dental workplace. Oral health practitioners have the ethical responsibility to deliver safe treatment for their patients. By following evidence-based information and recommendations regarding dental infection control and maintaining high levels of implementation of the current CDC infection control guidelines in dental practice, we can prevent outbreaks of infection in the dental office. Furthermore, compliance with established infection control guidelines is part of the ethical conduct of dental practitioners to avoid health care-associated infections.
KeywordsInfection control Ethics Oral health care Health care-associated outbreak
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