Cross-contamination in dental practice is very common. It’s the transfer of diseases causing bacteria or pathogens to the dental staff, dental technicians or patients. Dentist and dental staff directly treat the patients with full precautionary measure can reduce the chances of infection spread. But the dental laboratory staff and technicians that deals with the dental materials are also at risks. Dental laboratory comminates with the dentists in different fabrication processes and transfer of materials. Dentist transfer of the impression of patients to the dental lab can contaminate the laboratory environment. Personal protection and following the cross-contamination prevention guideless can reduce the risk and hazards.
- Personal protective equipment’s
Dental laboratory technicians are highly susceptible to microbial cross-contamination as a result of improper storage of contaminated materials, like dental impressions and prostheses collected from the dental office. The dental lab technicians should adopt personal safety measures. The use of Personal protective equipment’s including disposable gloves, facemasks and face shields can reduce cross-contamination. Dental laboratory staff should wash their hand with soap and water and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer after handling the patients’ impressions or models.
- Disinfection of dental lab equipment
Regular washing and sterilization of dental articulator, dental zirconia blocks, brushes, rag wheels, and other are dental lab equipment is essential. The use of disinfectant for the dental lab equipment like dental articulator, dental molds and impression can prevent cross-contamination and reduce the chances of being infected.
- Care in receiving, and shipping
The dental office and laboratory should effectively coordinate the disinfection status of each incoming and outgoing case. The designed persons who communicate with the clinics to receive the patients’ impressions and other fabrications should wear appropriate personal protective equipment. After receiving all the items should wash and disinfect before further processing. Similarly in the delivery of items like molds after the use of dental articulator should disinfect and wash. The other dental lab equipment should sterilize or clean for reuse. The restorative materials like ceramic, dental zirconia blocks also placed in the clean and sterilized boxes.
The dental lab is a valuable area for cross-contamination. By adopting the recommended guidelines, the chances of contamination by dental lab equipment or other lab materials can be reduced. Disinfection and sterilization of the reused dental lab equipment’s like dental burs, dental articulator, dental molds are necessary. Restorative materials like ceramic, dental zirconia blank, composites should store in a clean environment to prevent the spread of infection.