The CDC offers a new infection control resource for dental offices

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Dental assistants are often the point people for infection control. In fact, according to the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB) 2014 Salary Survey, infection control is one of the top duties certificants perform in the dental office. With patient safety on the line, it’s important for dental assistants to not only follow the proper infection control protocols, but also stay up-to-date on current best practices.

In March of 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a valuable new infection control resource, the Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Settings: Basic Expectations for Safe Care. This resource acts as a supplement to the CDC’s 2003 infection control guidelines, and includes vital information for dental assistants and other professionals who deal with infection prevention and control, including:

  • A summary of the CDC’s 2003 recommendations with two additional topic areas: respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette
  • A checklist for administrative policies and infection control practices that dental offices can use as a reminder/best practice guide or even an investigative tool when infection control breaches are suspected

Because infection control is such an important task for dental assistants, these resources and materials are particularly useful for DANB certificants and exam takers. It’s important to note, however, that while this new resource is a repackaging of the 2003 CDC infection control recommendations, it is not meant to act as a replacement for that document.

For more information on the Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Settings, visit the CDC oral health infection control web page. Additionally, the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) has additional resources for dental offices looking to put this new resource to use. To learn about ways dental offices can utilize the CDC’s new summary, visit the OSAP CDC Summary web page for more details. 

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