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Infection Control in Orthodontics

For protection of both the doctor and patient, infection control is of utmost importance in preventing the spread of infectious disease. This is of special significance in dentistry because more microorganisms are found in the oral cavity than in any other part of the body. According to a study Orthodontists have the second highest incidence of hepatitis B among dental professionals [1]. Individuals undergoing treatment in dental office may be undetected hepatitis-B carriers and patients secreting herpes simplex viruses in saliva may be asymptomatic. Such patients have the potential for transmitting diseases. Diseases such as hepatitis-B, HIV and tuberculosis have long incubation period and hence, it is difficult to identify the source of such infections to the dental practioners and other patients. The greatest danger for orthodontist and his staff is from puncturing of the skin with contaminated instruments, sharp edges of orthodontic appliance, as any cuts or abrasions will allow micro-organisms to enter into the body. The microorganisms can also spread by direct contact with a lesion, by indirect contact through contaminated instruments or office equipments, by inhalation of aerosols induced by hand pieces and ultrasonic cleaners, and while scrubbing of instruments.


Dr Shilpa Kalra, Dr Tulika Tripathi, Dr Priyank Rai

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