What’s going on with surface disinfection in dental settings?


An interesting new article reviews the history and state-of-the-art for surface disinfection in dentistry settings. Historically, aerosols and sprays were the most common approaches to the delivery of disinfectants in dentistry. However, due to occupational exposure concerns, disinfectant wipes are quickly becoming the most common method for surface disinfection in dental settings.

The article spans space and time, beginning with acidic rinses used by ancient Egyptians in 3000 BC, and ending with a review of current disinfection approaches. The article provides a helpful list of chemicals currently used for surface disinfection in dentistry settings.  Quaternary-ammonium based disinfectants the most common disinfectant, and wipes are becoming the most common mode of delivery. The article also highlights some of the unique challenges of dentistry settings, with a need for local sterilisation of some items and the associated surface hygiene requirements, x-ray equipment, rapid service user throughput, and limited availability of support staff.

Finally, the article provides some good practice recommendations for surface hygiene in dental settings. These include the need for a local infection control and environmental hygiene policy, a recommendation in favour of using disinfectant wipes, and recommendations around best-practice use of wipes in dental settings along with a visualisation of common high-touch surfaces to target.

Dentistry often includes invasive procedures and infections can be serious and difficult to treat. So it’s vital that the dental environment is kept clean and safe to prevent the transmission of microorganisms that can cause infections.

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