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ADA Credits: 2 | AGD Credits: 2 | Cost: $29.00

A Review of Current Infection Prevention Protocols for the Dental Field

Categories: Dental Assistant Courses, Compliance Courses, Infection Prevention

Author(s): Lisa Dowst-Mayo, RDH, BSDH, MHA

Course Type: Self-instruction journal and web based activity

Target Audience: Dental Assistants, Dental Hygienist, Dentists from novice to advanced

Educational Objectives

After completing this course, participants will be able to:
  • Define a DHCP and identify their risk for an adverse health event when proper infection prevention protocols are not followed.
  • Identify recommending and requiring agencies within the United States government that are involved in healthcare infection prevention protocols.
  • Differentiate modes of transmission in the chain of infection.
  • Practice hand hygiene and don the personal protective equipment that decreases the risk for disease transmission, especially when a dental aerosol generating procedure is performed. 
  • Reprocess equipment and dispose of waste in accordance with governing agencies.
  • Differentiate between clinical contact and housekeeping surfaces and select the appropriate cleaning and disinfecting solutions for each.
  • Practice water line and vacuum maintenance that ensures patient safety and prolongs the life of equipment.


A comprehensive working knowledge of infection prevention practices is an essential function for all healthcare professionals. When strong workplace controls such as ongoing training with written and reviewed policies and procedures are not established, the patient and provider have an increased risk for an adverse health event. Dental health care personnel (DHCP) work in a unique and hazardous environment that differs from medical facilities. 

DHCP are exposed to radiation and contaminants such as chemicals and solutions capable of causing biological damage to a human. They are also exposed to high volumes of pathogenic organisms, blood, and saliva generated by air-driven equipment that emits an aqueous solution in the form of an aerosol and splatter. Dental aerosols become part of the centralized ventilation, travel great distances from the source of creation, and stay suspended in the air for long periods of time behaving unpredictably in the environment. 

The novel SARS-CoV-2 virus is classified as an Acute Respiratory Infection by the World Health Organization, and as such,is capable of interfering with respiratory system function including breathing. Its continued persistence in the community has revolutionized the practice of dentistry and demonstrated the importance of quality infection prevention practices including proper personal protective equipment required for aerosol-generating procedures. 

This course will discuss infection prevention protocols specific for the dental environment that are effective, reliable, and standardized. When best practice protocols are followed by all DHCP consistently, lives are saved and the risk for adverse health events decreases.

ADA Credits: 2 | AGD Credits: 2 | Cost: $29.00

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