We at Dentistry’s Dirty Secret want to inform the public about recent infection control breaches happening around the world.
Infection control breaches in dental offices are not isolated events. These events are happening around the world at alarming rates. The selected news stories are just the tip of the iceberg. There are thousands of cases that go unreported and until the public begins to understand the issue, no change can or will be made.
by Mirna Alsharif
CDC warns of bacteria in dental waterlines after children are infected
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday issued a health advisory about waterborne bacteria in dental plumbing systems after children who visited pediatric dental clinics were infected with nontuberculous Mycobacteria.
by Dan Christensen
NSU to pay $5.5 million to settle class-action suit over unsterile dental tools used on hundreds of patients, mostly children
Nova Southeastern University will pay $5.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that arose after NSU disclosed that student dentists training in orthodontics failed to properly sterilize equipment used on patients, according to a Broward judge’s final order.
by William Westhoven
N.J. dentist suspended after deadly bacterial outbreak leaves one dead, 12 needing surgery
A New Jersey oral surgeon has agreed to a five-year suspension of his medical license to resolve allegations of unsanitary conditions in his Mount Olive office after 15 of his patients contracted bacterial endocarditis, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced this week. One of Dr. John Vecchione's patients died and 12 others required heart surgery to treat the potentially deadly infection between 2012 and 2014, Grewal said. Vecchione also agreed to pay $293,500 in penalties and costs.
by WBIR Staff
Patients sue Knoxville dentist Buzz Nabers for potentially exposing thousands to Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV
A Knoxville dentist is facing a class-action lawsuit from three of his patients who claim his practice potentially exposed thousands of people to infectious diseases by improperly sterilizing dental tools and using them on patients. The suit alleges Nabers is liable for the "negligent infliction of emotional distress and negligence caused by [his] systematic failure to properly sterilize dental instruments, reusing single-use dental tools from Sept. 15, 2016, to Sept. 15, 2019, and exposing Plaintiffs to numerous infectious diseases, including without limitation Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV."
by Esmy Jimenez
'What are we gonna do?' More than 1,000 Seattle students potentially exposed to HIV, hepatitis
Seattle-King County health officials estimate some 1,250 students in Seattle and Vashon Island were potentially exposed to HIV and hepatitis through dental clinics based in 12 schools in the Puget Sound area. In a letter, Neighborcare states that some dental equipment may not have been properly sterilized, leaving students with a chance of contracting hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.
by Catherine Silver
Nearly 30 patients possibly exposed to improperly cleaned dental tools at Colorado Springs clinic
A local dental clinic is notifying nearly 30 patients that they may have been put at risk of disease. Peak Vista says some of their dental tools were improperly-cleaned at their main clinic in Colorado Springs.
by Tommy Lopez
Lawsuit claims unsterilized instruments put 9-year-old at risk for infection
A local dentist office is being sued for medical malpractice after a Salem family claims employees used unsterilized instruments when treating their 9-year-old child last month. The lawsuit identifies the location as Spencer Dental in Roanoke. The office is under the same parent company as when it used to be called Kool Smiles. The lawsuit, which was filed Thursday in Roanoke City Circuit Court, claims employees admitted to the family that they didn’t follow procedure and the family’s child is at risk for infection.
by David Chang, Denise Nakano
3 Philly Dental Clinics Closed for Unsanitary Conditions and Possibly Exposing Patients to Diseases, Including HIV
"The sterilization and handling of used instruments on patients was not being cleaned appropriately or in a timely fashion," Dr. Steven Alles, the Director of Disease Control with the Philadelphia Health Department, told NBC10.
All three were then closed on Dec. 7, 2018. Since then, the Health Department has worked with staff at the clinics to reeducate them, update their infection control practices and obtain a list of patients. The Pennsylvania Department of State also launched a separate investigation.
Nova Southeastern University dental clinic possibly exposed patients to viruses Due to sterilization issues
Over 1,000 patients with a Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine clinic may have possibly been exposed to several viruses after dental equipment was not sterilized properly, the college said in a statement Tuesday. NSU officials said the college discovered "prescribed sterilization protocols" were not properly followed at the Post-Graduate Orthodontic Clinic at 3200 S. University Drive in Davie. Instead of being heat-sterilized, equipment was wiped down with a surface disinfectant wipe.
by Gabriella Rogers
Up to 10,000 patients of a Sydney dental clinic are being told to check for HIV and hepatitis
by Dan Stamm
Patients of Unsanitary Pennsylvania Dentist Could Have Been Exposed to HIV, Hepatitis, Dept. of Health Says
Patients of a now shuttered eastern Pennsylvania dental office are being asked to get tested for HIV and hepatitis after state health officials allegedly found unsanitary conditions. The Department of Health began investigating Cotturo Dental Associates operated by Palmer Cotturo in Mt. Bethel, Northamptom County, in August. Health department investigators found that the dental office didn’t follow the proper procedures to prevent infections. The office didn’t properly clean, disinfect or sterilize devices leading to an infection risk, the health department said.
by Patch, Palm Desert
Dentist Accused Of Unsanitary Conditions Goes On Trial
Trial proceedings are expected to begin Friday in a lawsuit against a Palm Desert dentist who allegedly retained a hygienist who treated patients with unsanitary tools, including one patient who was HIV- positive, creating the potential of infecting other patients. Dr. Gregg K. Balis, who's practiced in the Coachella Valley for nearly three decades, is being sued by his former officer manager, Jennifer Evans.
by John Ferguson
GCHD: County clinic patients potentially exposed to HIV, hepatitis
About 9,500 people treated at dental clinics in Texas City and Galveston over the past three years will be notified about potential exposure to hepatitis and HIV as a result of poor sanitation at the facilities, the Galveston County Health District announced Friday. After what officials called a “very scary” breach of medical protocols, the district was preparing to activate a medical hotline and offer thousands of free screenings for people who might have been exposed to the diseases.
by Web Staff
Whistleblower claims Virginia pediatric dental office did not properly sanitize equipment, water lines
But, after a few visits there, she said her son's dentist confided in her that the practice was not properly cleaning the hand pieces used to remove cavities and polish filings. "As she said was told to her they were simply wiping them down rather than sterilizing them between patients," Latham-Anderson said. "I was mortified."
by Staff - 900 CHML
Burlington dental patients told to get tested for hepatitis and HIV
The Halton Regional Health Department says 9,000 past and current patients of a Burlington dental clinic should get tested for infectious diseases. On June 9 the department identified that clients who received dental services at Upper Middle Dental may have been exposed to improperly cleaned instruments used for procedures.
by Jack Thurston
Dirty Dental Tools Put Dozens at Risk for Disease
A dental clinic in Morrisville, Vermont is notifying 61 patients that they may have been put at risk of disease. Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley told NECN Thursday that people seen December 2 and December 5 may have been exposed to pathogens on improperly-cleaned dental equipment. The revelation came to light December 6, when the center started notifying patients.
by Bre Payton
Wisconsin VA Hospital May Have Infected 600 Veterans With HIV Or Hepatitis
A dentist at the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Wisconsin exposed nearly 600 veterans to infectious diseases including HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C, say VA administrators. From October 2015 to October 2016, a dentist at the Tomah VA exposed 592 veterans to infectious diseases by reusing his own dental equipment and "cleaning" it instead of using the sterile and disposable equipment provided by the VA, said Acting Medical Center Director Victoria Brahm.
by Lisa Demer
Bethel dental patients asked to take blood tests after sterilization breach
Dozens of dental patients in Southwestern Alaska are being asked to submit to blood tests as a result of unsterilized instruments being used over a nine-day period in September.
Within that group, at most 13 patients are believed to have been exposed to potential infection from tools that were cleaned but not sterilized, according to Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp., the region's biggest health provider. The chance of anyone becoming ill or infected "is extremely low," said Jim Sweeney, YKHC vice president of health services.
While 191 patients were seen in the dental clinic from Sept. 13 to Sept. 21, only 13 sets of unsterilized equipment were used, he said.
by Courtney Perkes
CHOC given $150,000 to treat children sickened in dental clinic infection outbreak
Children's Hospital of Orange County will receive $150,000 in county funds to help provide complex treatment to children who contracted serious infections at an Anaheim dental clinic, the Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday. So far, 57 children who underwent baby tooth root canals, or pulpotomies, at Children's Dental Group have been hospitalized at CHOC with confirmed or probable mycobacterial infections.
by Courtney Perkes
Dental infection outbreak at Anaheim clinic now at 22 children
Pediatric dental infections contracted at an Anaheim clinic increased to 22 on Tuesday, as Children's Dental Group said most of the 500 children who underwent root canals there have been examined for signs of illness. Among the 22 patients, ages 3 to 9, six remain hospitalized. Three children tested positive for mycobacterial infections and the 19 others are considered probable. Testing of the clinic's water system, which has been shut down, found mycobacterium, which can contaminate a water supply when found in large numbers or is a particularly virulent strain. All 500 children who underwent root canal treatments have been asked to come in for an examination for precautionary measures.
by Louis C. Hochman
Dentist's office linked to 15 bacterial infections and 1 death, but still allowed to operate
A northern New Jersey dentist whose unsanitary practices were linked to 15 serious bacterial infections - and one death - is still being allowed to practice under a state consent order. In inspections in 2014, health officials found a range of violations, the consent decree states - using common alcohol pumps, using a single vial for multiple patient's medications, pre-filling syringes, non sterile preparation of instruments, poor documentation of medication units used and others. The consent order details a history dating back to 2012, when two individuals were diagnosed with bacterial endocarditis - both requiring heart surgery - after getting wisdom tooth extractions at John Vecchione's Budd Lake office.
by Channel 5 News
Dirty dentist puts patients at risk
Patients treated at a Memphis dental clinic were advised to get tested for hepatitis B and C and HIV after "breaches in infection control" may have put them at risk. Unsanitary conditions included bloody gauze on the floor, the sink crusted with grime and dirt, unidentifiable substances in the sink drain, and a hand piece that goes directly into patient's mouth lying on an extremely dirty floor besides the cabinet.
by Donna-Lee Biddle
Dentist accused of using dirty tools on patients, risking hepatitis infection
A dentist treating patients with hepatitis allegedly re-used the same dirty instruments on others. Authorities have no idea how many people were potentially exposed to the disease when the incidents unfolded in February and March, 2014. Sterilization wasn't part of the dentist's procedure, according to a witness. Instead, he rinsed his instruments in the sink, dried them with a paper towel and used them again on other patients. The dentist in question continued these practices till a pair of prison guards complained to their superior officer. The dentist is being charged with failing to comply with professional hygiene standards, which include failing to take steps to minimize the risk of cross-infection and to provide treatment that was unhygienic and rough.
by Ollie McAteer
Patients test positive for Hepatitis C after HIV scare at dental practice
Nearly 6,000 people needed blood tests after a woman blew the whistle on a dental surgery that allegedly reused gloves, matrix bands, and did not sterilize aspirators or dental equipment. This was all done in a location of the city where drug dependency is very high. The hygiene allegations against Dr. Alan Morrison also include reusing single-use drill bits, keeping unclean amalgam guns used for fillings and dirty scaling equipment. In the whistleblowers’ statement, she said: “They were only getting wiped down with alcohol wipes after each patient whether they had blood on them or not and were put back into the drawer.” When reusing gloves, they would simply spray a solution on the gloves and then move onto the next patient. Office staff is also facing criminal charges for conspiring to falsify documents in cover-up and threatening the whistleblower ex-employee. On January 19th, an update to this news story was made. 4 patients have tests positive for hepatitis C.
by Mackenzie Wright
Dirty Dentist Might Be At It Again, People Fear
A dentist in North Carolina lost his license to practice dentistry and went to jail for doing something unbelievably disgusting to his patients. Now he's moved to a new country, and he's trying to get back in business. Back in 2005, Dr. John Hall pled guilty to charges that said he injected semen into the mouths of his patients while he worked on their teeth. Despite the unbelievable crime he committed, Hall walked away with barely a slap on the wrists. He spent only four months in jail.
by Victoria Shirley
Shreveport dental office fires employee over not completely sanitized dental tools
An internal audit conducted at a Shreveport Kool Smiles dental office has revealed an employee failed to completely sterilize dental equipment. A Kool Smiles spokesman told KSLA News 12 the dental instruments had been washed, but were missing an extra step of sterilization. Kool Smiles has voluntarily notified 44 patients, and is providing free preventive health options to affected families.
3,000 Cardiff patient alerts over Splott Dentist
More than 3,000 dental patients are being contacted over concerns a Cardiff dentist re-used equipment that should have been thrown away. Dr. Mark Roberts was dismissed as a whistleblower claimed he re-used syringe cartridges and root canal surgery files that were suppose to be single-use. These problems were not found even after health inspections were previously made at the surgery. It took a whistleblower to show evidence of the actual events. The dental surgery has since changed ownership and the problems no longer exist.
by The Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney dentist scare: Hygiene breaches put 11,000 people at risk of HIV and Hepatitis
More than 11,000 patients were recalled for testing after NSW health authorities discovered major breaches in infection control at multiple The Gentle Dentist clinics. These clinics were cited for poor cleaning and sterilization of equipment. One of the dentists in question said at his age, 75, it made it difficult for him to keep up with changing regulations.
by Harry Samier
Infections traced back to kids' dental clinic; patients unaware
A number of pre-schoolers and school-aged children got sick after visiting an area dental clinic. Late Friday, state officials confirmed what CBS46 already knew: that those preschoolers, who suffered from open sores in their mouths, were patients at Dentistry for Children in Jonesboro. Children's Health Care of Atlanta documented more than a dozen separate cases of the painful sores, caused by Lymphadenitis, in recent weeks. When officials at Children's Health Care of Atlanta realized there was a problem, they altered state epidemiologists who tracked down the Jonesboro clinic as the source of the outbreak of Lymphadenitis, which can be caused by contaminated medical equipment.
by Stephanie Innes
El Rio contacting patients over dental sterilization error
56 dental patients were contacted after a dental sterilization error. The 56 patients were urged to undergo blood testing for hepatitis B, C, and HIV. El Rio Dental has a three-step process for sterilization of their equipment. The third step was not completed on six pieces of equipment that were used during that time frame. These pieces of equipment were all handheld instruments, one being a tooth polisher. El Rio Community Health Center apologizes for this mistake and remains committed to full transparency in issues of patient safety.
by Martin Fricker
Five Former patients of HIV-scare dentist Desmond D’Mello test positive for hepatitis C
More than 22,000 patients were called in for testing after dentist was found to be violating multiple infection control protocols. Investigations began after a young woman died weeks after being treated by Dr. Desmond De’Mello. The former patient died of flu-like symptoms and heart palpitations. The young women’s death sparked the largest patient recall in NHS history. Failing to sterilize equipment and washing of hands were the two main violations. Of the patients tested, so far five have tested positive for hepatitis C. Dentist D’Mello is no longer practicing and is currently being sued for £4 million.
by by Michael Randall
Patients alerted to West Point dental facility’s past sterilization issue
Officials from West Point’s Saunders Dental Facility have contacted more than 2,000 patients who might have been treated with instruments that were not sterilized to the clinic’s usual standards. From July 9th to October 1st of 2014, it was found that one of the clinic’s three sterilizers did not fully complete the sterilization process.
by KIRO 7
Kent dentist suspended, accused of dirty dental clinic
A Kent dentist who's served patients for 16 years has been suspended for unsafe and unclean conditions at his dental clinic. Officials with the Washington state Department of Health said the conditions at Dr. Charles Pan's office are an "immediate danger" to patients and said problems with infection control were rampant. KIRO 7 spotted dental tools in a solution in the sink, dental molds in baskets and other spots, and many other items disorganized. After another patient came forward on May 21, a health investigator visited Pan's office on May 29 and found failures in infection control, in the areas of protective barriers and sterilization techniques.
by Suzanne Goldklang
Dentist suspended, patients face HIV testing
A dentist in Shamokin is suspended after officials found he did not follow appropriate protocol to clean his tools. Inspection revealed Dr. Vincent Paczkoskie did not follow appropriate procedures to properly clean, disinfect or sterilize his tools in his North Shamokin Street office. Investigations also found that there was no evidence of instruments being sterilized after June of 2013. The suspension is temporary and a hearing will be scheduled if Paczkoskie wants to appeal.
by Bill Smith
Manchester dentist's license suspended; patients told of possible infections
Public health agencies are investigating the office procedures of Manchester dentist Nicholas Marshall to determine if patients are at risk for serious infectious diseases. Patients have been told to check with their physicians about whether to be tested for infection by the hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV viruses after the state Board of Dental Examiners suspended Marshall's license to practice dentistry because of "imminent threat to the life, safety and/or health of his patients. Specifically, the dental board found "improper infection control procedures" that could put patients at risk of infection by blood-borne pathogens.
by Sam Marsden
NHS dentistry is ‘unfit for purpose’, professionals warn
Ministers are accused of hiding the “rotten truth” about mismanagement of NHS dental services in a letter signed by more than 100 family dentists. They say the “continuous limitations and compromises” that hamper their work mean it is impossible for them to deliver the high standards of care to the whole population promised by the Government. Dr. Anthony Kilcoyne said there are dentists to whom the NHS is saying, ‘we are going to reduce your funding because you are spending too much time with patients and doing a good job”. The NHS is pushing for a more target-driven culture instead of a culture based on providing superior dental care.
by Mary Otto
Hepatitis cases highlight infection control for temporary dental clinics
Investigators documented problems with infection control at the large Mission of Mercy clinic, held at a school gymnasium. Notification letters were sent to 1,137 patients and 826 volunteers who worked at or received care from the Mission of Mercy Dental Clinic on June 26 and 27, 2009. At this time, health officials say they suspect that five people have been infected with hepatitis B at this dental clinic. Infection control breaches revolved around reusing unsterilized handpicks, leaving sterilized instruments unwrapped and allowing patients to transport their own partially used anesthetic carpules.
by Petti Fong
Bedroom dental clinic ‘scary,’ health officials say
David Wu, who treated 1,500 patients at his Burnaby home, was not following proper sterilization techniques. David Wu was also found to have no authority to be practicing dentistry. Dental tools and orthodontic fittings were stored in paper boxes and there was no sterilizer for equipment found. David Wu was practicing dentistry for over 20 years at various private residences in Metro Vancouver. David Wu’s whereabouts is currently unknown.
by Associated Press
Arkansas dental patients potentially exposed to infectious material
Arkansas health officials recommended blood tests for about 100 young patients of a dentist who sedated them with drugs possibly contaminated with infectious material. Investigators do not know how or who potentially tampered with the vials of medicine. Dr. William Jarrod Stewart admitted to having a substance abuse addiction and surrendered his license in Louisiana in 1998. He then attained another license to practice in Arkansas, where he tested positive for cocaine. Dr. Stewart died before he faced the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners in 2010.
by Daily Mail Reporter
Oklahoma dentist investigated In HIV scare is ‘Menace To the Public Health,’ State Dentistry Board Says
In 2013 there was the first reported case of patient-to-patient transmission of Hepatitis C. Due to lack of infection control protocols, over 7,000 former patients had to be tested for HIV and hepatitis B and C. Of those tested, 89 tested positive for Hepatitis B, and four for HIV. This is the first known case of patient-to-patient transmission of a deadly disease in a clinical setting. Scott Harrington and office staff is currently being investigated for 2 counts of felonies for their criminal actions.
DOH Investigating York County Dentist for Potential Breaches in Infection Control, Sterilization
Pennsylvania Department of Health has advised current and past patients of Dr. Jacqueline A. Marcin to seek out hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV testing as a result of non-compliance to properly clean, disinfect, or sterilize her dental devices. Dr. Marcin’s license has been temporarily suspended.
by Rabia Mughal
Dental offices inconsistent in infection-control compliance
The survey gathered data regarding dentists' demographic and practice characteristics, attitudes toward infection control, sources of instruction regarding the guidelines, and knowledge about the need to use sterile water for surgical procedures. Responding dentists in 34% of practices had implemented none or one of the four recommendations from the updated CDC 2003 guidelines.
Dental Patients Tested for HIV/Hepatitis In Health Scare
Almost 40 patients were called back to a local dental clinic for HIV and hepatitis testing this week after they were possibly exposed to instruments which employees believe may not have been properly sterilized. One of the staff members recognized that a test strip on the sterilization pouch that contained instruments did not change color, meaning sterilization was not done properly. After going through all their drawers, they found 13 other sterilization pouches with the same issue. This prompted calls to their recent patients to come back to be tested for HIV and hepatitis. This office is best known for treating thousands of the region’s uninsured and low-income adults.
by Matthew Holehouse
Dirty dentists putting patients at risk of infection
Patients are being put at risk of infection by dentists who fail to clean surgical equipment properly, research reveals. One in nine dentists inspected by health care watchdog were found to be in breach of strict guidelines on cleanliness and infection control designed to prevent the spread of conditions such as HIV, hepatitis and vCJD. An analysis reveals that of the 1,667 dental practices inspected by the CQC last year, 189 were found to not be following Department of Health instructions on how to clean instruments and surgeries. Some equipment cannot be cleaned and re-used safely and most be thrown away after each patient. But dozens of practices are disregarding the rules, inspectors found.
by Jolie Ho and Joyce Ng
HIV, hepatitis infection scare at HKU dental hospital
The dental clinic at the University of Hong Kong is calling on 250 patients to take blood tests for HIV and hepatitis B and C after discovering equipment had not been properly sterilized. A senior staff member discovered that a key step in disinfecting instruments had been skipped for four days in a row. The error was noticed when the staff member found the labels of some instruments were not of the right color, suggesting they had not been put in the autoclave sterilizer. The university has setup a team to review the sterilization procedures and immediately apologized for their mistakse.
by Blythe Bernhard
Issues go unsolved at St. Louis VA medical center
John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis still needs to improve its sterilization procedures two years after problems in dental clinic first identified. In 2010, the dental clinic notified more than 1,800 veterans that they might have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B and C. So far, 4 patients have tested positive for hepatitis. The VA Center was cited for visibly dirty dental instruments, even after going through the sterilization cycle.
by Paul Napoli
8,000 patients advised to get HIV, Hepatitis tests after dentist caught reusing needles & syringes
Offices of Dr. Stephen Stein, a dentist that practiced oral surgery, were investigated after reports of unsafe injection practices were found. The investigation found that the office saved syringes and needles used to inject medications into patients and used those same needles repeatedly, often for days at a time. Dr. Stephen Stein has since surrendered his dental license and is no longer practicing. Since October 1, 2012, six former patients of Stein have tested positive for hepatitis or HIV. Since then the dentist was arrested while driving under the influence of cocaine.
by Noel Brandon Kelsch, RDHAP
Legionnaires’ disease and dental unit water
In Rome, Italy, it was confirmed that an 83-year-old Italian woman who died from Legionnaire’s disease contracted the infection from the water lines in a dental practice. The case was quickly diagnosed, and the source of the disease is unquestioned. The woman was admitted into the hospital with breathing problems and a very high temperature. She was admitted to the intensive care unit with continued fever and respiratory distress. The part of this story that makes it clear that the disease was a direct result of dental treatment is what led up to this. The patient left her house only two times within the incubation period of two to 12 days. Both of those trips were direct trips to the dentist and back.
by Dan Sewell
VA infection issues lead to 13,000 veterans’ tests: Improper hygiene may have exposed patients to HIV, hepatitis or other blood-borne disease
Warning letters have been sent to 13,000 U.S. veterans in the last two years urging them to seek testing for potentially fatal infections after possible exposures by improper hygiene practices at five VA hospitals in Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, and Tennessee. A dentist who practiced there for decades repeatedly violated safety measures such as failing to sterilize equipment or change soiled latex gloves, potentially exposing patients to HIV, hepatitis, or other blood-borne diseases. After testing, 8 patients were found with HIV and 61 patients with hepatitis.
by Daily Mail Reporter
Thousands of patients told of HIV risk after visiting 'dentist with dirty instruments'
Bristol patients are due in to receive letters advising them that they may be at risk of HIV or hepatitis after a dentist was found to have been operating poor infection control measures. 5,000 letters were sent to patients that were treated at Frenchay Dental Practice and East Street Dental Practice in Bedminster. The cause for concern was that the dental instruments were not adequately sterilized.
by ABC 20/20
Dirty Dental Water
ABC 20/20 with Barbara Walters did an in-depth dive into the water that flows through dental handpieces. What they found was that some of the water lines had more bacteria than a toilet.
by John T. Redd, Joan Baumbach
Patient-to-Patient Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus
The State A Department of Health (DOH) was notified of a case of acute hepatitis B on 1 April 2002. The index patient was a 60-year-old woman who became symptomatic on 11 February 2002. The DOH found none of the traditional hepatitis B risk factors during routine case investigation, but she reported having oral surgery on 10 October 2001. An epidemiologic investigation was therefore begun. A cross-match of the DOH Hepatitis B Registry found an HBV-infected patient who had oral surgery in the same operative suite on the same morning as the index patient. She was a 36-year-old woman with a complicated medical history, including hepatitis B since at least 1999.
by Bonnie Johnso
Vol. 34 – No.16
A Life Stolen Early: Nobody Knows How It Happened, but Kim Bergalis May Have Contracted AIDS at the Dentist’s
CDC reports strongly suggest that Kimberly Bergalis contracted AIDS during a 1987 tooth extraction performed by Dr. David J. Acer, a dentist that is now known to have AIDS. Kimberly Bergalis, 22 at the time, had no other “risky” behaviors to suggest she contracted the disease anywhere but from Dr. Acer’s dental office. This case sparked controversy whether a health-care professional and patient should have to undergo testing before any invasive procedure. It also shed light on the importance in which infection control procedures needed to be rethought.
NOTE: Kimberly Bergalis died at the age of 23. Over the next few months a total of 5 other patients of Dr. Acer were also diagnosed with AIDS. This was the first case of dentist-to-patient transmission of HIV in a clinical setting. Both dentists and dental manufacturers had to rethink proper safety and infection protocols to ensure patients were safe while being treated.
by Farlex by Judith Duffy
3000 In HIV Scare Over Dirty Dentist; Patients offered blood tests
More than 3000 patients are being offered HIV tests after claims that a dentist used dirty instruments. Chris Parkin, a dentist who works in the same building, raised concerns that Dr. John Halliday’s equipment was not always sterilized properly. Investigators spoke with past and present colleagues of Dr. Halliday and found out there had been concerns about the cleanliness of instruments for over two years, but no one spoke up.
by CBSNEWS.COM Staff
Dental Water May Be Harmful
What we found is the water in the majority of dental offices is substantially contaminated and [of] a very poor quality - not drinking water at all.