A Review of Infection Control in the Dental Setting: A Pathway to Achieving Infection Prevention
Date & Time
Saturday, April 9, 2022, 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Joy Void-Holmes


  • Identify governmental and regulatory agencies that provide regulations, guidelines, and recommendations concerned with infection control in the dental setting
  • Differentiate between universal precautions, standard precautions, and three types of transmission-based precautions: contact, droplet, and aerosol 
  • Describe pathogenic microbes of particular relevance to dentistry including the SARS-CoV-2 virus 
  • List the six links on the chain of infection and identify how CDC recommended infection control practices can be used to interrupt the chain to prevent infection
  • Follow the hierarchy of controls to implement safe infection control systems that reduce the risk of illness or injury for DHCP. 
  • Explain design features of personal protective equipment that determine usage in the clinical setting. 
  • Decrease the risk of infection transmission and cost of care associated with improper instrumentation processing systems 
  • Follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dental handpiece sterilization guidelines
  • Discuss aerosol mitigation techniques that reduce the risk of cross contamination to dental health care professionals and their patients

Infection control represents a standard of care that protects health care professionals and their patients from exposure to infectious diseases in the health care setting. The presence of specific pathogens is rarely known; therefore, application of infection control measures is required before, during, and after all patient appointments. With recent changes in the Centers for Disease Control Guidelines- Infection Control in Dental Healthcare Settings and the Summary of CDC COVID-19 Guidance for Dental Services along with a record number of infection control violations reported to state dental boards, a review of infection control guidelines in the dental environment is warranted.